Social Media Marketing Is A Paradigm Shift For Customer Relations

If businesses believe that their strategy for corporate social media can simply be their previous style of marketing strategy shifted over to the new kinds of media, then that’s the first thing they’re going to have to unlearn. The nature of this media is that it creates a two-way conversation between equals. Previous to this, businesses have been used to being in control of the company-customer relationship, often just giving lip service to “listening to the customer.” This simply isn’t going to be the case anymore. So their social media marketing plans have to reflect this.

Everyone has heard the phrase on some company help line: “Your call is important to us.” And we all know this is simply a business ploy to prevent us from getting furious as we wait to talk to someone who clearly has no interest in how a product isn’t working as advertised, and who offers almost no real help. It might not look like it right now, yet that approach is on its way out, while the new social media marketing steadily moves in.

This concept actually frightens some companies, and it makes others furious. Why resort to social media guidelines, they reason, when they have tried and true promotional techniques that have been effective for decades? They are accustomed to putting ads and specs out there to tell the customer what they think he or she ought to know, and this customer has always been a reasonably submissive recipient of the word from above. Now the customer demands to talk back and in many cases judge the corporation’s product line and strategy for doing business. But instead of embracing this social media approach, many businesses look at this new approach to doing business as crazy.

But it may surprise the corporate doubters to learn that adopting the strategy of two-way social media marketing may draw customers in and make them more loyal to brands than they’ve been before. Think about it. If a product user feels they’ve had some input into how the company produced the product, or if groups of users know that their input has helped change the product and the company’s policies for the better, then they’re going to talk about it in their own social networks. Social media optimization of this sort can serve both the company and the customers very well.

Big business social media cannot be used in the same way as advertising campaigns of previous years, because the users of social networks are very savvy. They will know if their networks are simply being taken advantage of, and if the “two-way street” is being faked so a company can continue doing exactly as it pleases. They will also spread the word very widely if they are not respected. So as businesses create their social media marketing plans, they must prepare to engage in genuine conversations, and take future actions based on what they hear from their customers.

The social media websites that immediately come to mind are some of the most popular sites today, like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Any avenue that allows people to socialize together without necessarily being in the same proximity is considered social networking. Find out more at the Social Media Resources site.