Follow up to UnPanel #6: How to Win When Your Competitors are Losing, an advanced social media approach

A great turnout for this event led by Jason Falls from full service brand agency, Doe-Anderson.  Can’t decide whether to attribute the passionate dialogue to the topic or Jason for challenging the standard response posts.  As a result, this UnPanel created a solid dialogue around the topic of how some companies can grow their businesses even when competitors and their industry is even or declining.  A summary is below:

Customer’s perception: is that companies care more about profits than customers.

How can you overcome this perception?  Assign someone or some people to interact with customers throughout the day/night.  Be free to answer questions whether related directly to selling more stuff initially or not.  Create a personal “face” that customers can relate to.  A theme that came up was that of ” living amongst them” or showing customers that the people of the brand face the same challenges and experiences as the customers.  Create familiarity and relate to your customers at an individual level.

You can’t outsource relationships whether online or in real-life.

One point to this is that you have to humanize that which is inanimate.  Brands are things, people want to interact with humans, not things.   There was some talk about trusting agencies but at the end of the day, the consensus agreed that agencies have a place with developing strategy, guidance, focus, etc but the dialogue needs to come from people inside the company.  Agencies are best when they try to avoid dependency relationships with clients.  Managing their work by not getting noticed.

How do you know as a brand that you have been “accepted” or become in-network?

First, this is not a destination, becoming accepted social as a brand by your customers is a continuous journey.  Certainly when your customers are recommending you to their friends is a good indicator (Apple may win this battle).  That is a much deeper commitment that simply purchasing something and being done.  Make it easy for customers to become advocates.  A great post said when customers start wearing your tattoo, then you know you are operating in-network.  That is a great concept both literally and figuratively.

Once you have arrived, how do you keep your Cred with you customers?

In list format in order of how they came in:

  • Invite interactions offline, meet-ups, invites to parties, events, etc.
  • Consider Mobile interactions as a more intimate way to connect with customers
  • Invite them to help develop new products, innovations for the company
  • Keep evaluating feedback, adapting, changing to the needs of customers. No stagnation.
  • Social CRM as a method to stay engaged and relevant.
  • Buy your own products as your customers would. Discuss your experience with them and improve it with input.

Want to thank Jason Falls again for moderating this topic!

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