One of the most notable questions that social media has raised is the relationship between the customer and the brand. Is it now unacceptable for a business to not interact with their client base or should a distance remain to validate both authenticity and professionalism? The speed of growth of social media suggests the former is becoming the more widely accepted answer. Either way, even if it is not ‘necessary’ – indeed for certain brands in certain industries it is perhaps advisable to keep a distance – there are so many opportunities if brands embrace the coming together of the customer and business that they would be foolish not to utilise it.
A common mistake made by businesses when trying to venture into this space and modernise their customer relations strategy is to bulldoze into social media. Interacting with the user is not exclusive to social media! Social media is simply the catalyst for digital user interaction marketing:
One of the key alterations brands should be looking to do is make their websites more fluid, responsive and interactive. Sites that encourage user participation via gamification, unique user journeys, quiz’s, polls etc take a big step in familiarising themselves with their customers. This enhances virtually every stage of the sales funnel
Some would have you believe email marketing is slowly dying. This is due to the mundane and boring ‘e-leaflet drop’ that EDMs are so commonly used for. It doesn’t need to be like this! Emails are a great way of inviting your customers to talk to you, interact with you and drive their participation onto your site or a unique Micro Site. Reward loyalty through unique content
Taking the offline to the online is the evolution of brand interaction and digital development…and we’re nearly there! The increase in mobile internet usage suggests there is great scope for brands to encourage their physical customers to interact with the brand online and vice versa. QR codes and NFC technology is developing to make this even more intuitive
Don’t be scared of your user getting too much control, participate in it and encourage it….and not just on social media!