Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Social Media: a distributed communication channel

2010 was the year that Social Media was really adopted by the mass. There is no way you could have missed that. You can’t watch a TV show without someone telling you to follow them on Facebook or Twitter. Customer complaints turned to media hypes and dominated the news. 2011 will be the year that companies start to realize that Social Media have induced a major shift in balance of power from companies to consumers and can no longer be ignored. Time to incorporate this 'distributed communication' channel in your multi channel customer contact strategy!

Consumers have an increasing number of communication channels at their disposal through the internet. Just take a look at the Conversation Prism by Brian Solis and JESS3 to illustrate the density of the social media forest. Adding to that the booming technology in smart phones, notebooks and tablet pc´s that brings internet at our fingertips 24/7 makes it almost effortless to share our thoughts and ideas with the world. Positive thoughts but also negative thought: not happy with the way you were treated by the service representative of your internet provider? Tell the world! Your mobile phone came back from the repair shop and still doesn’t work? Tell the world!

Social Media have indeed induced a major shift in balance of power from companies to consumers. In a pre-Social Media society a personal conflict between me and my pizza delivery boy did not reach further than the people at my birthday party who struggled through my tedious explanation of the problem at hand. Nowadays this might have evolved into a worldwide boycott of this pizza delivery company: if only my one single tweet about this incident was picked up by my followers, re-tweeted, referenced in their blogs, picked up by a local TV station who knows what might have happened. There are plenty of examples to be found about customer complaints that turned into media hypes and caused a lot of damage to company reputations.

As consumers take Social Media more serious, so should companies. Recent studies show that large companies indicate that the use of Social Media is important for their business and some of them already monitor these ‘distributed communication’ to stay on top of rumors. Many companies have planned to develop a Social Media strategy. A good way to start is to read the eBook by It lays out a strategy in 4 steps for Social Media Monitoring:
  1. Listen carefully
  2. Analyze what you heard
  3. Join in and speak up
  4. Measure and Maintain
So, put in your list of New Year's Resolutions for 2010: 'Incorporating Social Media montoring in your business' multi channel customer contact strategy' right next to 'Spending more time with the family' ;-) "Social media isn’t complicated. When you boil it down it’s about listening to your customers, being helpful by offering your knowledge and giving them interesting content to share and thereby advocate for you."

1 comment:

  1. Hi

    Tks very much for post:

    I like it and hope that you continue posting.

    Let me show other source that may be good for community.

    Source: Sales manager kpi

    Best rgs