The jury has spoken. Social media has proven to be a worthy marketing tool for the bluest of blue chip businesses.
It engages people. Once engaged, people tell their friends, thus initiating a conversation that tends to spiral.
Marketing 2.0: Using Social Media to Talk to and Energize the Groundswell is a great article that is just teeming with relevant examples of this phenomenon. Here are just a few excerpts:
Ernst & Young is doing a great job of interacting with people on Facebook for recruiting. E&Y needs to recruit 3,500 college students each year, so within Facebook, they include information about recruiting and a wall for posting. In one post a student asked E&Y why they are not recruiting on their campus, and Dan Black, the head of North American campus recruitment, answered personally with suggestions for how to get in touch with E&Y. This kind of dialog has a viral effect on campuses.
Fiskars, a scissors and craft supplies maker, created the Fisk-A-Teers website, an ambassador program. These are deeply passionate customers, but when surveyed, were very neutral about the Fiskars brand (when asked what food Fiskars would be, customers said Saltines). They made the Fisk-A-Teers site somewhat of a hot commodity by restricting membership to invitation-only after the site was seeded. they have 4,000 Fisk-A-Teers, and the number of positive mentions on the internet went up many-fold after the site launched. Fisk-A-Teers go to stores to give demonstrations, and when they do triple sales in the store on those days.
It was no accident that these businesses were able to make social media work for them.
They had a strategy for using it.
It wasn’t just a matter of putting up a Facebook page to see what would happen. They carefully considered how their customers’ felt about their brands and how they wished to alter this relationship. Selecting the technology to do so was the easy part.
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