I have now come to the end of my course and finished the last chapter of Groundswell. This novel has been the basis for all my blogs. Looking back at my first post, my original goal was to connect with people and provide inform about Social Media Marketing! Although I have not received much viewership until recently, I plan to continue updating my blog; in the hopes that I will reach more people in the future!
As promised in my first blog, I have also reviewed NAIT’s Social Media Marketing class (MARK474) to help prospecting students determine if online learning is right for them. Overall, I was very impressed with the course content. The information I learned was very relevant to my Degree and I found the novel (Groundswell) to be interesting. This book was also easy to read; a nice change from many of my other post-secondary text books. I also enjoyed having the creative freedom to focus on social media issues or companies that I was interested in. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who is interested in marketing, social media or distance learning. Good Luck!!
Remember: feel free to leave a comment or question if there is something you would like clarification on or perhaps just more information. I look forward to hearing what you have to say about my blog!
Until Next Blog….
Your company probably has a department dedicated to improving public image and finding out “what our customer wants”, but let’s face it, you have no idea. Everyone is a critic and now social media allows customers the option to love or hate your ideas publicly. However it also provides the opportunity to ask public input. (It’s much harder for someone to give your company a bad review, when you implemented their ideas!). Chapter 9 of Groundswell are focused on embracing and incorporating customer ideas. The textbook provides a few literary examples of authors who have successfully embraced the customer opinion. If you are interested in this subject, I would suggest Wikinomics!
-Democratizing Innovation – by Eric Von Hippel
-Outside Innovation: How your customer will co-design your company’s future – by Patricia B. Seybold
-Wikinomics: How mass collaboration changes everything – by Anthony D. Williams
There are several companies that demonstrate this approach to business. Apple for example has embraced customer opinions and created the App store. Here individuals or companies can create and sell mobile applications that customers show demand for. Essentially, this allows them to gain profits due to increased customer usage/convenience. However, it more importantly positions Apple as a customer driven company with uniquely customizable products. The speed in which apps are developed and available it also remarkable – once a demand is presented, an app usually becomes available. However, this kind of business also creates high competition. If an app becomes obsolete due to a newer version, it can result in negative reviews (even though the app was originally designed to meet the specific needs of their customer). This provides incentive for companies to constantly search for customer input and make changes as required!
for more information on the App Store: http://www.apple.com/iphone/from-the-app-store/
Until next blog…
I think it should be mandatory for a company to have a public relations team. They help to avoid negative brand associations and resolve public issues. They are also beneficial for sharing information and considered ambassadors of public image. Naturally, this means they work with the marketing department to ensure the best public perceptions.
Speaking about public relations, there are many opportunities and threats associated with social media. At times it can seem like the threats outweigh the opportunities. Bad news can spread in a matter of minutes, leaving companies reluctant to expand their business online. Yet, word of mouth can allow for company success to be announced just as quickly.
With regards to my last blog, I realized that “personal public relation” is just as important. Although I try not to post things that are offensive, politically tied, or embarrassing, on my Facebook; the hacker who changed the password could have… He or she would have access to my friends list and the ability to send incriminating messages, post terrible pictures or add unprofessional comments to my wall. The thought of this was very unsettling, so I can only imagine how devastating a public relations scare would be for a large company. The speed in which information travels is growing every day so it is important to use social media to one’s advantage by developing a strategy for dealing with possible threats.
For anyone who is looking for some “personal public relations” advice, I suggest this video; it’s funny but also informative!
Until next blog….
Chapter 8 discusses a few key areas that are important to helping the Groundswell support itself. When companies really began to move online, there were a few trends. One of these trends was reducing costs by sending customers online (e.g. company website) for information rather than speaking to customer service representative. This can improve efficiency for the company, but reduces the control of information. Yet, influence can be just as powerful as control! This chapter also focused on taking the time to speak with IT, media groups, and management to develop a dashboard that includes potential social measures to track online performance.
Looking at the lack of control aspect, there are many problems that can arise (e.g. false information or a lack of clarity for customers. Personally, I have visited a Hoax site before, thinking it was the real thing because it looked legitimate. I have also experienced problems finding the correct information when searching for it myself. This can cause issues for companies performing in the online environment and begs the question “will this add value to the customers or push them away?”…
This topic is very applicable to me right now because I had two of my email addresses and Facebook hacked last week. Let me just say, I did not realize how much I rely on technology and the internet to communicate until it was taken away from me. In my attempt to restore access to my Facebook I was given a few online options. First I could request a password reset email be sent to me (This would be an easy solution…. If I had access to my email…..which I didn’t.) – Very Frustrating!!
Therefore, the alternative was to lock my account so that no one, including myself, could access it until an “investigation” was done. This included filling out an online report and sending in a picture of my driver’s license to verify my identity. Although this seemed like a fair option, it was going to take at least one week and I wanted to resolve the issue sooner than that. So naturally, I spent an hour searching for a Facebook contact phone number, which does not exist, because they are TOTALLY online! Overall things worked out for me and my Facebook account was reactivated, but it raised another issue….
To be continued in my next blog….