Where to Start on Social Media Marketing

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magneticnorth
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Regarding metrics, Keith, I must admit that I know of no solution that will supply a "helpdesk" sort of backend to Twitter and will accommodate analytics, though there probably are companies that offer such a product. But for the moment, companies are happy enough to use Twitter for customer service, even just at the most basic level. Having customers raving about you is a nice thing even if you can't keep track of the number of smiles you get.

cmophil
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Good idea. Even better, they can be located anywhere so you have the worldwide presence & reach for local areas and time-zones.

kdawson
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Lucy -- true thing. I heard a couple of anecdotes at the conference I just attended that make an even stronger statement about the power of reaching out to, especially, disgruntled customers by Twitter. In both stories, an extremely upset customer was transformed by that simple act into a rabid supporter and evangelist. At some level, what drives people nuts is simply feeling they're not being listened to. Provide proof that you are listening, and you make a convert out of them.

cvargas
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Re: Not to jump the gun
cvargas   2/28/2011 10:44:38 PM
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Mitch,

Most definitely there needs to be some sort of measurement done in the endeavor as a company engages in social media.  Otherwise there may be no justification that can be allowed to continue the actions.  Also if can provide a means in which to effectively adjust the social media marketing strategy as well.

magneticnorth
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From what I've seen, using social media for customer support is as simple as getting people who communicate well and have a heart for the customer. These are the same people you'd put on the phones, but slightly more inclined to writing than speaking. That's the main cost: good labor.

kdawson
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Is it fair to say that applying social media to customer service requires less planning than other uses to which those media could be put? Do you apply any metrics at all to, e.g., Twitter used for customer support? Do you know how much it costs to keep this channel open?

magneticnorth
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On the other hand, there are those who are familiar enough with these tools but have no marketing mindset whatsoever. After I got my current job, I was told that most of the other candidates simply said that they have accounts in these social media sites, and they assume they could already do digital marketing just because of that. Not a good sign when nearly everybody in this day and age have Facebook.

magneticnorth
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My degree is in marketing communications (i.e. communications used for marketing purposes). In my years of managing social media, I've come to the conclusion that it's more appropriate to think of social media as communication tools in general rather than as marketing tools exclusively.

Why is that? It's mainly because marketing always demands explicit intent. It relies on strategy, objectives, per-channel plans, etc. While I love doing strategy, I also recognize that there are some things in business that don't require so much intentionality, such as making communication channels accessible to our customers. I've found that having a Facebook page isn't mostly about fulfilling an explicit marketing objective--it's more about having the lines open for customers to converse with my company. We do have feature articles on our wall, but a lot of it is simply receiving feedback and making customers see that we're listening. Yes, those fulfill marketing objectives too, but they don't require as much planning. Customer service makes sense universally. It's just a matter of opening the lines of communication so that customer service becomes possible.

Mitch Wagner
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Re: Not to jump the gun
Mitch Wagner   2/28/2011 7:19:09 PM
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cvargas - I have bookmarked an article for later reading from another site, premise being we're past the "just jump in" stage with social media. You need to have goals and ways to measure whether you've achieved those goals, even while you experiment. 

cvargas
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Dwhite706,

This is the point where education comes into play for those executives.  Not only do they need to be educated about the various forms available, but also the proper ways in which to utilize them for their own company's benefit.  Being the latest and greatest way to communicate to consumers and other businesses, does not mean that it is the best way of approaching those target groups.

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