Social Media: The More the Merrier?

If you’re not trying to build better relationships, open two-way channels, and deepen the engagement between your brand and your consumer, than why are you using social media?

As “civilians,” social media makes it easy for us to share our feelings, ideas, viewpoints and ourselves. We touch a lot of people in one post. But when you’re a business, or more importantly a brand, the implications and interpretations of this information are also limitless. There are many ways to abuse and over-use social media. More importantly, social media isn’t (necessarily) meant to take the place of other media, it’s a tool to improve our ability to connect, and in most cases should be used in conjunction with a solid mixed media approach. Social media requires support and a lot of hard work, right?

Well, considering we use social media to better connect with our consumers, it might be worth taking a look at how the platforms affect them. A research study at Edinburgh Napier University suggests that Facebook usage creates stressors that impact users anxiety levels. Psychotherapist Stacey Nunez agrees that Facebook can cause severe angst and even depression. She explains that cyber-stalking and romanticizing about photos makes it difficult for a person to connect via face-to-face interaction, it creates false expectations, and that it lowers self-esteem. In short, she asserts Facebook enhances stressors and makes it difficult for managing adversity.

But users are addicted, and even though it might be bad for us, we can’t stop. We spend hours of our free time looking through overwhelming amounts of photos, profiles, and counting our followers.

There is an old saying, “the more the merrier.” But from a business perspective, the more is not the merrier! Friend counts have nothing to do with the quality of consumer experience. The bulk of businesses also tend to loose grip on the quality of their consumer relationships as the number of followers increase. The reality of our situation is that we do not know the majority of these people, and our conversations with them may not overlap into our actual business plan.

It’s crucial to note that although these people are our followers, they are also overwhelmed by other brands. We need to post concise and attractive content in order to clear their landscape. If we leverage social media in a positive way, we open up opportunity.

A Verizon case study in The Social Media Monthly magazine covered the launch of the Verizon Idea Exchange, an online forum where customers are given the opportunity to exchange and discuss product/services ideas they’d like to see implemented. The magazine described the community, saying: “The Exchange is aimed at capturing, categorizing, and ranking customer ideas based on the votes and comments of community members…[and] this encourages the product teams to interface with the community members.” Based on the suggestions from Verizon customers, 85% of new attributes for the Interactive Media Guide were a result of this Exchange.

This platform supports consumer feedback while implementing their ideas into Verizon product. There are more than just “likes” and follower counts here – there is actual engagement. Not only does Verizon encourage meaningful and quality conversations, consumers are able to integrate themselves in the brand. It enhances consumer experience.

Overall, utilizing social media to start conversations and relationships is important because you want to create a volume of exchange to enhance and build brand experience. Remember that your consumers are also plagued with other options, so being clear and showing your appreciation to their loyalty is important. Don’t discredit what goes into building a strong relationship – it’s a two-way street. Making the most of social media’s groundswell and leveraging on its power keeps a business connected with consumers and can facilitate growth, but content is important.

How often do you think companies misinterpret follower counts as success? Do you have any examples of social media gone bad? Gone good? Hit us back…

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Category: Welt | Tags: , , , , , , , , 2 comments »

2 Responses to “Social Media: The More the Merrier?”

  1. Antony Brehm

    Right here is the sort of information I’ve been trying to find. Thanks for posting this information.

  2. david russell cornell

    Thank you for your thoughtful post!

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