Social-network marketing is not just marketing using a social media tool, it is actually brand management using the same tool and attracting prospects to turn into customers. In many instances, social media goes beyond typical marketing communication, as it must conform to a particular type of interface.
Social marketing may not be a specialty of the customer service personnel, but they are the ones who actually handle customer queries and grievances. Owing to the nature of social media, it is one great place for word-of-mouth publicity and brand justification.
Brands engage social media users with discussions on a diverse range of topics apart from their services and products. Most often, resources engaged in social sites reply to questions to help solve customer problems. When they do not have the solutions, they recommend other companies who do, either as a helpful gesture or simply as the norm.
The right kind of social-media marketing enables companies to become more than just a name interested only in the bottom line. It makes them advocates and evangelists to customers. It even shows that the firm is willing to find their customers, listen to what they say, and consider their best interests. Customers buy from companies who can prove their interest in demands and reliability on delivery.
Ultimately, social-network marketing is how you form a relationship with potential customers. It’s more than mere brochures and billboards having better ROI. It has the capacity to improve sales, which traditional marketing is failing to do. Social-media shopping is gaining more popularity with companies, as it can do much more than traditional marketing. Public relations, customer service, and research & development are all heavily dependent on social media engagements.
The following example explains how social media marketing generally works.
The live telecast of a sporting event is on. Interruption occurs. One of the satellite channel’s customers tweets or posts complaints against the service and they are seen at least by some of the customer’s 750 followers. The satellite service discovers the complaint and comes up with an apology and an offer to help. They might call the customer directly or collect direct messages outlining the problems.
The company finally diagnoses the problem. The fault might lie with the company equipment. Meanwhile, they tell the customer to switch to another channel for watching the live event.
That gives the customer a solution and now he can get his feed from the satellite. Direct messages leading to an evident solution creates word-of-mouth publicity and thus the customer’s friends not only switch to a new channel, but also re-tweet the message to their friends. This tells other viewers where they can find the new channel. While solving a problem makes a small, but positive difference to brand reputation, it becomes evident that social networking makes the process as real-time as possible.