Still can’t see the point in engaging with the social web?

You’ve heard it all before, social media has disrupted the marketing model and companies need to take note, but you’re still not convinced. People now use the internet to find most things they look to purchase – information on false eyelashes in Boots to the credibility of that holiday home before they make their booking. This new landscape has left many companies uncomfortable and unsure how to interact.

Companies need to remember that the social web is a tool, just like when the telephone came along for telemarketing. Exceptional customer service is still key to a good business and anticipating customer needs and ensuring they have a positive experience of your product/brand is paramount. This can be achieved on the social web. Before social media came along, companies had the control of the marketing and mass messaging that went out to their customers and prospects. As individuals we now have the power to be content creators, share opinions, review products and speak our minds – wherever we are. One-way broadcasting is a thing of the past and we’ve moved onto two-way dialogue where listening, engaging and remaining transparent is key to being successful in this online world.

A few ways things have changed:

• Prospects and customers turn to their friends – on and offline – to help them make buying decisions, not big brand messaging.

• Prospects and customers are instantly vocal about their experience of your brand/product/service.

• Prospects and customers expect to be able to engage with you online, be responded to and respected.

• Prospects and customers use the internet as a tool to research you.

The social web has changed the way prospects and customers seek out your product, service or brand and customer service plays a big part in engaging and satisfying the needs of your consumers.

It might be time for your company to re-visit your culture and customer service approach, allowing you to use these new ways of communication, sharing and listening and empowering your employees.

Has your company recently embraced the social web? Any comments or thoughts?