Like it or not your business is involved in Social Media

January 4, 2010 at 11:07 AM 4 comments

If you have a company of your own (or you work for one) then whether you like it or not you’re involved in Social Media.  People are talking about your business on the Internet regardless of whether you’re part of the conversation.  So, wouldn’t it be better to be involved?

Considering how few businesses are doing anything about Social Media most companies seem apathetic to the topic. This further proves the point of the people who are doing the talking… most businesses “don’t care” or at least don’t know what’s going on and how to deal with it.

But, what they do not realize is that consumers more than ever have reacquired the power to drive the market. It’s no longer about who has the best marketing, spin or clout. It’s about who the consumers choose to have a relationship with.

Something happened in 2007 that I will always remember.  It really drove this point home for me.  Our training manager at ASL Internet, Barry Baker, showed me a website for an automotive dealership. It was crownacura.ca … there is nothing there today but using the “Internet Archive Way Back Machine” you can see what was there: It may take a few minutes to load but it’s worth taking a look at. It still surprises me today.

http://web.archive.org/web/20070520205905/http://crownacura.ca/

What made this site unique? It was not made by the dealership.  It was made by a past customer … The first words you see on the page are “Crown Acura – Where Warrantees Mean Nothing!” and the home page goes on to describe the bad experience that a customer had with this dealership which he could not get resolved to his satisfaction. What surprised me even more was the fact that this consumer (Tim) was running a Search Engine Marketing campaign (pay-per-click). He was spending money to advertise his website and drive traffic to it.  If you were located geographically close to Manitoba and you were looking for Crown Acura or even just for the term “Acura” his advert would come up.

We’ve entered an age where consumers have found their voice.  They no longer have to rely on ombudsmen, advocates, or better business bureaus. They now have the ability to rally themselves, organize themselves AND dramatically affect your businesses bottom line. This is, in part, what Social Media has done for the consumer.  Although it is the media industry that has coined and adopted the term “Social Media” it is in fact a shift from the consuming public to have a voice and more control over things that affect them.

Crown Acura is not the only company that I have seen affected by this phenomenon.  The stories of how bloggers and the general public changed the face of business at Dell have become historic. In fact you can type in almost any company name into Google followed by the word “sucks” and observe the court of public opinion about that business.

Here is one that comes up in Yelp!  http://www.yelp.com/biz/dell-computers-fremont  This is a site that is seeing more and more consumer adoption throughout the US, Canada and other world markets.  I personally have used Yelp.ca to post both positive and negative reviews of purchasing experiences with different companies.

Here is an example on YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfIlaHXCA4U . Don’t forget to read the comments below this video. You don’t have to look far on YouTube to find many more examples involving countless companies. Many of them even contain video responses from consumers and not just written feedback.

As you can see the conversations are happening, whether you want to be part of them or not.  It’s your choice as a business owner but I wouldn’t stay apathetic too long.

Cheers

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Entry filed under: internet marketing. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Why Reputation Management?  |  January 4, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    Almost any business or a person has some sort of negative feedback, how that business manages this online reputation is up to them. Like Peter explained the consumers has a share of voice and the reviews can be noticed pretty easily.

    Google aggregates all the reviews from sites like Yelp, N49 and many more.

    Here is an example for BMW Toronto from Google: http://maps.google.ca/maps/place?cid=13107541353281880165&q=toronto%2Bcar%2Bdealers&hl=en&gl=ca&view=feature&mcsrc=detailed_reviews&num=10&start=0

    Who is responding to these reviews? not the business but other consumers who were mistreated. When things are really out of hand they should get an Online reputation Management (ORM) specialist to turn the things around. Good luck to those who doesn’t want to manage their brand online.

    Another Good read is Tiger Woods PR Case study. Can he get out of the woods? The case study estimates that he should spend at least $2.5 million a month to manage his reputation.

    http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/091216-194758

    Reply
  • 2. truco ruleta  |  January 11, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    Great idea, thanks for this tip!

    Reply
  • 3. cameroninglis  |  January 11, 2010 at 4:31 PM

    Here is a great article on The 10 Stages of Social Media Business Integration … http://mashable.com/2010/01/11/social-media-integration/

    Reply
  • 4. FrankT  |  February 3, 2010 at 1:30 AM

    Your blog is so informative … ..I just bookmarked you….keep up the good work!!!!

    Hey, I found your blog in a new directory of blogs. I dont know how your blog came up, must have been a typo, anyway cool blog, I bookmarked you. 🙂
    surface encounters

    Reply

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