I’m back!!! So I kind of took a long break from the blog in between social media classes. Did you miss me??? Are you completely lost in the social media world now??? Thought so!!! Well good news… I’M BACK!!!
So now that you all know why social media is SUPER IMPORTANT and why you MUST HAVE IT I’m going to help you actually use it! The number one goal you should be focusing on is engaging your customers. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have, it matters how many relationships you are building. Your goal is NOT to have the highest number of likes. It’s better to have 100 likes/followers and 100 customers engaging with your brand on a regular basis, than to have 1,000,000 likes/followers who check your page once a year.
So to help you engage I am going to compare what two companies are doing, describing
what you should be doing and what you should NOT be doing. We will call these two companies BlackBerry and Samsung Mobile (their social media links are at the end of the blog under references…I’m very helpful).
Before I get into the companies it’s important to explain what the Best Practice Principles are for Social Media before I completely loose you.
- Social Media Takes Time: Just like I’ve said in other blog posts. You want to focus on the social media sites that will be effective for your company. It’s important to be where your customers are, and where they will engage. There is no point in putting efforts into a social media site that does not attract interaction with your target market. It will just get exhausting. Be where it matters!
- Actively Manage Your Brand: Do not hide negative comments! This is a big NO NO! Negative comments should be looked at as an opportunity to show off your company’s customer service. It’s the one time you have to show everyone in the world that you can effectively fix a problem by going above and beyond by just demonstrating it on one individual publically. Comments that cannot be handled publically should still be addressed publically but directed to a more private setting. This will be clearer when I talk about BlackBerry. HANG IN THERE!
- Listen First then Engage: Don’t be VAIN. Don’t talk about just yourself/ or
your brand. You need to engage the audience into your conversation by asking them questions, or highlighting things they are interested in. Whenever you post think to yourself, “Why would someone look at this page? What are they getting out of reading this post?”. Involve your followers, and open up communication.
- Integrate Social Sights: Advertise all of your social media sites on each social media site, does that even make sense? Read it again… I think you’ll get it. The more engagement the better, so why not have a follower tweet your blog and like it? That is three different social media channels all at once! Can you think of a way to get a 4th in there?
- Be flexible: Grow with social media. As new trends and social media sites come out research them to see if your company should be on them. Keep up on the latest social media news, and be one step ahead! You can start by keeping up with MY blog!! So I guess you’re doing great already!
So now that I told you all of the Best Practice Principles, memorize them and swear by them. Did you do that? Great…now lets get started.
Lets start with BlackBerry. Are you thinking…Blackberry??? Are they even still around?? THEY ARE! They are working on a whole new line of smart phones that will be more APPS
based just like the iPhone, Androids, and Samsung phones that we are all obsessed with today. Which means they are making it easier to stay on top of your social media sites you are monitoring ohhh so closely while you are on the go!! WOHOO!!
Anyway, Blackberry has 5 social media sites, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flikr, and their BlackBerry Blog. These five sites are updated often, and it appears to be managed somewhat closely. By focusing on these five sites it helps the company keep a close watch on all the social media communications, and it SHOULD help them focus on engaging the followers (we’ll talk about this in the next paragraph). BlackBerry appears to have a rather large following on each site, which makes one assume that they did their research to find the best social media sites to be on for their company. So that’s one principle effectively used… which one? Did you get it yet?? SOCIAL MEDIA TAKES TIME!! I knew you’d get it… you are so smart. Pat yourself on the back! I’m sure you didn’t even scroll up….
Now lets talk about how they do and don’t actively manage their brand on each social media site. We are going to focus on their Facebook and Twitter, unless you want to keep reading for another two hours while I dissect all 5 sites? NO?! Well okay then! It appears for each social media site there is a different strategy. Their twitter account does a great job managing their brand by answering customer complaints and negative feedback. The main twitter account @BlackBerry acknowledges the comments and then directs them to @BlackberryHelp who then privately resolves the issue. This shows that Blackberry is taking the time to work out the problem, but keeping the communication private at the same time. Their twitter strategy is great, and even won them a “Shorty Award” (“Shorty awards,” 2012). Think about it, if you had a customer stand up in the middle of a presentation for 25,594 of your closest customers (aka BlackBerry’s Twitter following) you wouldn’t ignore them would you? HECK NO! You’d calmly answer to their comment, and then say “Please come up after the presentation and we can discuss this further to resolve the issue”. You don’t want to waste other people’s time/Twitter feeds, and you may have to talk confidentially. However it’s great to know that BlackBerry responded and is working to take care of the issue.
For Facebook however, Blackberry does not seem to answer negative comments. Blackberry leaves these comments on their page for all to see, but never responds to them. Just a cold shoulder is all you get from BlackBerry here. You’d think they could apply the same concept they use on Twitter to Facebook, but apparently not.
The communication for Blackberry does not follow the social media best practices of, “Listen first, then engage”. Every post they make on both Twitter and Facebook is very “me” focused. Everything is about the Blackberry products with little emphasis on asking viewers questions, or opening up two-way communication. Additionally, the comments left on Facebook are not answered back by Blackberry. It appears to be one-way communication. The same strategy is used on twitter, except when it comes to negative feedback or customer service issues. You want to ask your customers questions. What do you think of our new blackberry line? What are you hoping is incorparted in the new phones? Fill in the blank I never leave my blackberry behind when I _______. Or do a caption this type of photo! ANYTHING!!! Don’t not say “ME, ME, ME”, no one likes that.
Samsung Mobile uses all the same social media websites as BlackBerry except for a blog, and they use Google +. Again we will focus on Twitter and Facebook. “Thank Goodness this is getting long enough!”.
Samsung does an excellent job engaging members. On twitter they address their followers as #GalaxyFamily members. They ask everyday questions like, which season premires are
you look forward to tonight #GalaxyFamily? Or they tell you interesting facts about their products, “Trying to unearth last year’s snow gear from the garage? Your #GalaxySIII comes pre-installed with a flashlight widget!”. They find unique ways to showcase their products without sounding like, “BUY ME! ME ME! BUY ME!”. For facebook they use the same strategy, but they include pictures of whatever they are talking about. Pictures are great because they will catch the eye faster for any follower, and actually increase the amount of people who read that post. The more people that read it, the more people that will engage!
Samsung Mobil’s customer service is also outstanding. On Facebook Samsung answers back to every fan, it doesn’t matter if they are praising Samsung or complaining about Samsung. Samsung will address their name and then write them a short note. There was one guy who even told Samsung how dedicated he was to their products, and told them they he believed he desereved a free Samsung Galaxy SIII for his dedication to the company. In this he used the computer to draw a picture of a dragon saying, RAWR. So Samsung answered back with a drawing of a Kangaroo on a unicycle. These are not automated responses, each response is custom made… I’m pretty sure they don’t send Kangroos on a unicycle to every follower! Anyway…keep paying attention..it gets better. The customer loved the reply so much he helped publically share it on a site calld Reddit, gaining a viral share from many of Reddit’s followers. This became a social media sensation, and caught the eyes of Samsung. Samsung then out of thanks sent the follower a customer made free Samsung Galaxy SIII with his dragon picture painted on the phone. That spread even more through social media (Diaconescu, 2012).
Overall, Blackberry has a strong following but they do not engage back with their users to the full extent. Therefore, I believe that although Blackberry has users engaging with them and a large number of followers its not strengthening their relationships with consumers. I believe Blackberry could focus more on building relationships and less on pushing out their products. Samsung I believe does a great job engaging customers, and building relationships. As long as they keep growing with Social Media it seems like they will continue being a star in the social media industry.
So that was a long one! Thanks for hanging in there! Leave some comments about how you engage with your followers, and how you make sure that you are making it worth their time to visit your social media sites!
Shorty awards. (2012, February 13). Retrieved from http://industry.shortyawards.com/category/4th_annual/customer_service
Diaconescu, A. (2012, August 09). Android authority. Retrieved from http://www.androidauthority.com/good-guy-samsung-gives-free-custom-s3-lucky-facebook-fan-exchange-dragon-drawing-110858/
Samsung Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/samsungmobileus
Samsung Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/SamsungMobileUSA