Social media is an effective antidote for navel-gazing. Here’s why. Twitter and Facebook comments will tell you what’s most important to your customers, what they’re worried about, and what they aspire to. The crazy thing is, while 87% of companies worldwide have a Twitter or Facebook account, an estimated 56% of consumer tweets to companies go unanswered. You would never consider letting 56% of your phone calls go unanswered, so why is this happening online? I don’t think it stems from a lack of concern, I think it’s due to an unfortunate misconception that ‘doing’ social media means creating a business account and throwing comments or links out at the online community.
In pleasing contrast, some businesses ‘do’ social really well. I have seven to share with you in this weekly blog roundup. What sets them apart is a true appreciation for two-way conversations and online community engagement. Enjoy.
- ING Canada has to be the first company in this list. Peter Aceto, CEO, is well known for his use of social media to create a sense of community. He’s a regular on Twitter (12,909 followers) and he authors the company blog, Direct Talk. He not only uses social media with the external community, he uses it internally, as you can see in the linked blog post. Take a few minutes to read “Business Dress Code” and you’ll immediately get the flavour of ING communications. ING’s Facebook page is interactive and highly responsive to its 28,428 fans. Twitter link: @CEO_INGDIRECT
- Bill Marriott, Executive Chairman of Marriott International, is another notable communicator and regular blogger. In The Babe Hits A Deep Home Run To My Father, he makes a poignant connection between his father’s business principles and the game of baseball. He deftly continues the analogy to speak of Marriott International’s business focus. Mr. Marriott blogs faithfully. They have 1.4 million Facebook fans and a very responsive social team. The Marriott Twitter account has 263,975 followers. Twitter link: @MarriottIntl
- Telus recently celebrated hitting 20,000 Twitter followers in its blog. I’m linking to this particular post by Anthony Kronshage because I love the energy and pride behind the 3-year plan to create a Twitter support team that’s focused on customer happiness. I also admire the simple appearance. Four sections labelled You, Community, Public Policy and Team — with different authors for each section. They have 813,663 likes on Facebook. I scrolled back quite some time to look at the conversations; they seem to respond to Facebook posts within about an hour. That’s outstanding. Twitter link: @TelusSupport
- London Drugs runs 7 blogs. Yes, 7. I could have filled this entire article with one post from each! I knew I’d find something unusual as I see their Facebook posts in my news stream — they’re hilarious. With 72,091 Facebook likes and nearly 9,000 on Twitter, they’re very responsive to customers with same day responses on each one that I looked at. The information they share is helpful, more like a neighbour than a corporation. Twitter link: @LondonDrugs
- Electronic Arts’ Chief Operating Officer is also their chief blogger in The Beat. With 2.4 million fans on Facebook, they must have a full team on board to keep up with all the comments. Their Twitter presence is no less remarkable with 1.5 million followers. Twitter link: @EA
- Hootsuite’s blog and Facebook page are full of immediately actionable information and ideas. Take a look at Innovate Or Die: 3 Ways To Stay Ahead Of The Curve written by CEO Ryan Holmes. I can tell you from personal experience that the Hootsuite Twitter support team engages with its community every day. Talk about instant credibility in the market. Twitter link: Hootsuite runs more than a dozen customer-focused Twitter acounts. Here’s the main one: @Hootsuite
- Shortstack publishes daily blog posts that help customers and prospects understand social media and how to use its tool. I chose A Collection Of ShortStack eBooks as their representative post because it speaks to their generosity. Twitter link: @ShortStackLab
After browsing through these corporate social media leaders, you’re probably excited to begin engaging more fully with your community. To avoid overwhelm, start small. Pick a single platform and join the conversation. You’ll see results right away.
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