Today, I’d like to share with you three most important lessons that I have acquired in my life as a social media marketing and customer service professional. I started blogging back in 2010 and then I became a CBSME student. After graduation, I was hired by a local ad agency as a Digital Marketing Manager before I was absorbed by Globe Telecom as a Senior Community Manager. Now that I decided to do things on my own, I founded a startup called Mediactiv8, an agency that envisions to promote digital marketing education and entrepreneurship in the Philippines.
The Age of Listening
For many years, marketers and customer service professionals are just great talkers. We have successfully mastered the art of talking to consumers through billboards, emails, in-store ads, magazines, phones, radio, television and others. But with the advent of social media, the game has changed. The challenge for us now is knowing how to listen more.
The Age of Listening: Social Media Marketing
Stop marketing. Start listening. It will be very difficult to succeed in social media marketing if you don’t know your consumers well. You have to know the answers to simple questions such as “What time are they active online?” and “What types of content do they usually like, comment on and share?” For you to know your consumers well, you have to learn how to “listen”.
Facebook Insights, Google Analytics and others are some of the tools which can help you understand your consumers better.
The Age of Listening: Customer Service
Master a listening tool. Did you know that social media management tools are also called “listening tools”? In Globe, we were able to “listen” to what our subscribers say about us because of these tools. If someone tweets that there is no Globe signal in their place, our tools will be able to detect the tweet and then we’ll proactively engage the subscriber.
Sprout Social and Lithium are examples of listening tools.
Best of Both Worlds
There are two worlds: the offline and the online. Because of the clear distinction between the two, they are often made mutually exclusive and separated. But to think about it, there really are no purely offline campaigns as much as there really are no purely online campaigns.
Let me convince you. What has the capacity to become popular online, also has the capacity to become popular offline. On the other hand, what can be a talk-of-the-town online, may also be a talk-of-the-town offline. There is a common ground between the two worlds and the best social media marketers and customer service professionals are those who will be able to find it.
Best of Both Worlds: Social Media Marketing
Marry the two worlds. One of the measures of a truly successful social media marketing campaign is if it was really able to create a buzz in the offline world. On the other hand, an offline campaign may also be called successful if people talked about it in the online world. This is what marrying the two worlds is about. The challenge for social media marketers is to create a synergy between the two worlds and to maximize the conversations that will be produced from them.
Best of Both Worlds: Customer Service
Humanize the experience. This means stopping from hiding from brand logos whenever engaging with consumers and also means going out of your way to create a relationship with them even outside social media.
We had been doing this in Globe. We use our own profile photos in our official Globe Twitter accounts that we use in engaging our subscribers. In creating genuine relationships with our subscribers, we also organize contests for them and then ask the Twitter team to hand the prizes to the winners personally.
It Takes A Village
There is an African Proverb that goes like “It takes a village to build a community.” Same goes for social media marketing and customer service. A social media marketing or a customer service campaign will not be successful without the people who will support it.
It Takes A Village: Social Media Marketing
Build a community. Build a campaign. As much as you are thinking about your blog, think about your readers. As much as you are thinking about your brand, think about your consumers. As much as you are thinking about strategy, think about culture. Did you know that culture eats strategy for lunch? Without community and culture, it will be hard to make anything successful in social media. Good thing there are Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups, Twitter and forum sites that allow us to establish our communities.
One very good example of this is the Top 10 Emerging Influentials of 2013. Without a community of bloggers who will vouch for these blogs, not a single one of them be able to make it to this writing project.
It Takes A Village: Customer Service
Create a culture of helping one another. In Globe, we created a community of subscribers through a forum site where they can get help from fellow subscribers about their concerns. Starting a culture that allows people to help one another creates a community that is sustainable and not dependent on the very few customer service representatives that a company employs. If you help the people help themselves, you will be rewarded.
Be the good influencer.
We have all the resources that we need at our disposal. The challenge for us is to become digital influencers of the good kind. There are people who would rather talk about people and problems. On the other hand, there are people who would rather talk about idea and solutions. I hope you make the good choice.
Let’s keep in touch through www.facebook.com/Mediactiv8.
Mark Delgado (@iammarkdelgado) is a Certified Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur (CBSME) who is passionate about consultative works, creative writing, events management, ideation, startupreneurship, strategic marketing and training. He founded Mediactiv8, a startup social media marketing company that advocates digital marketing education and entrepreneurship in the Philippines. To see more of his works, please check out www.facebook.com/Mediactiv8.