|Scooped by Mika Kroencke|
Social Media for Business
Social Media is an integral aspect to successful modern business strategies. In an era driven by technology, businesses must understand and take advantage of social media tools in order to remain relevant and competitive in ever changing social and business environments. De Chernatony explains the importance of marketing, especially though currently relevant models, not only to gain a larger customer base, but highlights the criticality of constant marketing to remain relevant to current customers. Businesses must then take advantage of social media outlets, such as Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram, and continually reevaluate their choice of tools and their effect on sales in order to best relegate their time to the most potent methods.
It must be recognised that social media is not free. Although as an interface it is free to use, businesses must hire professions to constantly monitor the various forums and feeds the company interacts with to ensure negative feedback is dealt with and that customers have a positive experience with the forum. Negative comments could be detrimental to a firm, which could potentially not only negate the positive effects of social media, but upset and therefore decrease their current loyalty base. This means that social media professionals must constantly browse each social media site, and placate the angry commenters to ensure a positive online image. This is a key aspect, because once something is posted online, it is available forever.
An example of a social media disaster was Dave Carroll's YouTube hit, "United Breaks Guitars". When United failed to refund or even apologise for breaking Carroll's custom-made Taylor guitar, Carroll made YouTube video that got 150,000 views in the first day, 1/2 million in 3 days, and currently stands at 13.9 million views. This was seriously disastrous for United. Within 4 days, the stock price fell 10%, costing stockholder $180 million. However, Taylor guitars took advantage of the United scandal, and used it to gain a positive community image by giving Carroll a new guitar to use in upcoming music videos. This scandal shows the importance of monitoring social media outlets and consumer images, because although firms engage in social media for the positive benefits it offers, a lax approach to social media can have very negative, detrimental consequences.
WestJet Airlines had a very opposite experience with social media. They created a 'Christmas Miracle' advertising campaign in which passengers were asked what they were wishing for for Christmas, and when they arrived at their destination, their Christmas present wishes arrived with their luggage. This became an instant Youtube sensation, with one million views in just one day. WestJet became known as a generous company that truly cared about their customers and their satisfaction. Positive marketing campaigns like this are so successful because people share it with friends, create a positive sentiment about the company, and therefore are more likely to fly with WestJet airline than, say, United Airlines.
It is highly recognised in social, business, and academic media, the importance of the positive use of social media. Not only is it important in gaining a wider customer base, but its integral to stay relevant in an era of constant change. Businesses must create positive social media feeds to interact with their customers (such as through replying to comments, and creating giveaways to increase consumer engagement with the brand) in order to remain competitive.