In lieu of the Social Media Week frenzy, it seems only appropriate to focus on social networks making the headlines, as well as the increasing pressure being put on companies to improve their social media engagement strategies in an attempt to create deeper engagement and attract more loyal customers.
PRSA’s “Friday Five” post — an analysis of the week’s biggest PR and business news and commentary — looks at the customer as the driving force behind growing social networks and the rise of mobile technology. In many cases, customer engagement, reaction and interest in a brand can be very telling of whether or not that brand will thrive. This week, we explore the growing need for brands to improve the customer experience as a way to build and fortify their consumer/member relationships. We also look at opportunities that some newer social networks, such as Google+ and Pinterest, offer to bridge the business to consumer gap.
Why User Experience Is Critical to Customer Relationships (Fast Company)
Fast Company expert blogger, Brian Solis, discusses the importance of user experience (UX) when designing any new media strategy. This is part one of a limited series on the need for brands to employ UX in new media strategies to improve customer experiences and engagement. These days brand must consider more than just positioning themselves on the right channel to reach customer audiences and create richer relationships through engagement. Solis argues that brands competing for loyal customer attention must integrate UX into their new media strategy, with an end in mind where the means to that end is efficient and optimized for each channel.
Counting “Fans” and “Followers” Is the HFCS of Social Engagement (The Social Customer Manifesto)
Earlier this month, The New York Times took a deeper dive into the idea of “good attention vs. bad attention.” Through the customer lens, “good attention” is the type of attention you pay when something connects with you. Conversely, “bad attention” is the attention you pay, but you wouldn’t choose to if you had a better (or any) option. The struggle with the idea of counting fans and followers is that it doesn’t achieve sentiment or degree of engagement. Christopher Carfi compares counting fans and followers to high fructose corn syrup, the empty calories of customer engagement. A focus on fan and follower counts ultimately leads to being caught in a bad attention trap.
Carfi offers tips to help brands achieve “good attention”:
- Think about whether you are attracting good attention or bad attention from your engagement activities
- Begin the transition from counting metrics to metrics that matter to customers and your brand.
- Don’t be complacent, thinking that having two million fans on your Facebook page means that you’re doing a good job at building long-lasting customer relationships with those individuals. It doesn’t. Do you know how many of those two million fans are current customers of your brand? If the answer is “no, we don’t know,” then recognize that you’re likely falling into the trap of bad attention.
It’s a Man’s World on Google+: Report (Technolog/msnbc.com)
Google+ continues to grow at a fast and furious pace, expanding to new social media ground and creating heavy competition for such social networks as Facebook and Twitter. A new report shows that Google+ is a man’s world, with two-thirds of the social network’s population falling into the XY chromosome camp. Website-Monitoring compiled the data, which included a sample of almost 44 million Google+ users, and revealed a gender gap that shows men make up 67 percent of approximately 90 million members. In contrast, about 58 percent of Facebook’s 845 million monthly active users are women (according to a Pew report that came out last summer). You can segment Google+ and Facebook into teams, but ultimately they have the type of customer engagement that continues to draw users.
Pinterest Hits 11 Million UMVs (and 8 Tips for Brands) (Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence)
Ogilvy 360 reported on a TechCrunch announcment that Pinterest hit 11.7 million unique monthly visitors, becoming the fastest standalone site ever to surpass 10 million monthly unique visitors. In last week’s Friday Five, we reported on the growing popularity of semi-exclusive online pinboard/scrapbook. Now Pinterest is presenting huge opportunities for brands as it holds the power to drive authentic “word of eye” recommendations. So how can brands leverage Pinterest? Here are a few suggestions:
- Create a new social commerce touch point With 11.7 million UMVs and counting, Pinterest presents an opportunity for brands to expand their audiences by going where the masses are.
- Grow influencer networks: Brands can leverage Pinterest to find influencers with whom to engage.
- Identify and engage super fans: Pinterest may also be a way to identify natural brand advocates or “super fans.”
- And the list continues…
Social Business in Action: Field Notes (Edelman Digital)
There is an overwhelming theme when discussing social business that it must be executed with purpose and intent. After participating in one of Ogilvy’s events for Social Media Week, David Armano, Edelman Digital Chicago, took time to jot down a few notes about the strategy behind running successful social business initiatives, and stresses two main points:
- It’s about connecting stakeholders who are critical to the success of your business.
- It’s about executing initiatives leveraging the “3 P’s”— people, process and platforms, with special emphasis on people.
Armano walks us through some company dos and don’ts when it comes to engaging your customers on a 2.0 level.
Nicole Castro is the public relations associate at the Public Relations Society of America.