Gary Vaynerchuck's Social Media Manifesto:
“I love social media because it sells shit. But brands need to remember that it is a customer service tool first and a sales tool second. People are marketing like they are planning a wedding. They put all their effort into planning the wedding and then no time at all working on their marriage. Brands need to go “Beyoncé” on their customers. They need to put a ring on it! Because for the first time ever, we are living in a push (not pull) economy. Brands are not in control anymore. Customers are. But we need to return to ‘small town rules’. Big brands acting like local businesses who care. Like 50 years ago in small town communities. Because most businesses are missing the point. Social media is not about talking. It’s about listening. It is about listening. It’s about creating word-of-mouth at scale. Because as humans, we love to share good things. But we don’t want to be sold to. Big retailers need to start acting like small start ups. And become obsessed with responding to every. Single. Comment. Post. Tweet. Request. Because the people who want to buy from you. Are the people who want to buy from you. And whichever brand cares the most. Wins.”
|Gary Vaynerchuck's Social Media Manifesto|
Earlier this year I needed to get hold of a contact in the First Great Western Press Office. After an arduous search of their website I couldn't find any kind of link, but I noticed the company's Twitter account was monitored during the day (in other words, the company actually engaged with customers and replied to users' tweets), so I typed a quick request to see if they could provide a contact. Within minutes I'd had a reply and was emailing the Press Office. Say what you like about their train service but, as far as I was concerned, this was exemplary customer service and a perfect use of social media.
Other companies don't reply to tweets. Or they reply selectively. This sucks big time. As Gary Vaynerchuck says in his Social Media Manifesto above, these are the organisations that use social media to talk and not listen. They're ignoring their customers and potential customers. Who wants to be ignored? I've tweeted companies with comments that have not been responded to and the impression I take from that is they couldn't care less. So I don't use them.
I wonder if too many businesses have signed up to social media because they feel it's something they should be engaging with?
Update 23/08/2012: post edited and shortened.