Opportunities of the social media

Social media are playing an important role in business, it's a direct link between the company and the consumers. But it isn't working by itself, it requires times and investment to use it in an efficient way. 

 Many companies still fail at having a good social media communication, here are some concrete examples of what to do and what to avoid ! 

The first thing is that companies are paying too much attention to consumers who write a negative remark about their product/brand/services on social media compared to the attention they give to what we'll call "Happyconsumers". 

Why are companies social communication handler always answering to " Unhappyconsumers " first ? 

Simply because everyone has in mind that an "Happyconsumer" is someone that will be more likely to buy, and that's why companies are trying to convert "Unhappyconsumers" into "Happyconsumers" by giving them a social talk.

And they are right ! 

But what companies can't avoid to do, is also to answer to "Happyconsumers" comments/tweets/share. It's so easy to post " You rock ! @happyconsumer " or to Like a publication but many companies fails in doing that. 

According to a study, a social media user is likely to tell 42 other people about a positive experience. But, a recent survey says that you can lose to 50% of your consumers in only 5 years if your communication remains dormant !

Now you can see all the importance of answering to your "Happyconsumers" too ( if not first ) ! 

An other and more technical point is that active companies on social media have to be fully aware of what people says about it. Businesses should produce, on a daily basis, summarized listening reports answering to those 4 questions:

1- What are the top items that consumers love about our brand ?

2- What are the top complains about our brand ? 

3- What can we suggest to improve #1 and mitigate #2 ? 

4- What time do we have to get #3 done starting today ? 

To go one step further, companies should even extract the same reports about their strongest competitors. So they will be in full control an awareness of what's going on on their market branch.

Those kind of reports brings a lot of informations about the way consumers sees a company, about who buys what and that will also help to know who and how to target for the next communication campaigns.  

What about viral videos ?

 The well known video sharing platform Youtube is one of the most used digital media by companies, often to relay their television ads campaigns. Some of those videos become viral and other won't. So we could ask this question : " How to make a viral video ? ", but that's the wrong question ! If you create and record an ad or a video in order to having an ad that will go viral on the web, you are going into the wall. 

The main question you should ask to yourself is " what will this video provide as value for the viewers ? " Because the viewers makes it going viral, not the producer. But for sure there are some concrete things that you can do to help your video going viral. 

First, you have to choose an appropriate music because a video is seen but also heared. And the music you'll select will be critical to its success. 

The lenght of the video is also really important, a short ( between 1 and 2 minutes maximum ) and sweet video will always more easily go viral than a long and boring one. 

You have to keep in mind that 19.4% viewers stop watching a video after 10 seconds, and 44% after 60 seconds. 

That's why you have to provide something to the viewers and if possible in the beginning of the video. 

Remember that making a viral video isn't a strategy but making a video that will bring an experience to the viewers is ! 

A good example of viral video marketing is what Volkswagen did in 2011 for the Superbowl. 

The Superbowl is like alsmost everyone knows, the final of the american football league, it's also one of the mostly followed game in the world and companies spend huge amounts of money for putting their ads during the game. So did Volkswagen and they had for sure a pretty cool and funny ad but that's not the only reason that explains why 60 719 593 people have seen that video on youtube. In fact, Volkswagen posted the video a few days before the superbowl on their main Youtube account, some people saw the ad found it awesome and started sharing it on the social media. During the superbowl, millions viewers discovered the ad and were able to find it directly online to share/like/comment it. It's may seem obvious but many companies still fail in posting and promoting their ads on social media.  If you have never seen this ad, enjoy the following video. 

Social media, even for B2B ?

Most companies believe that social media isn't for B2B. They think its something reserved to B2C. 
The B2C strategies need to be adjusted to B2B. The main difference between B2C and B2B strategy is that there is less communication in the B2B. 
Despite this fact, 56% of B2B companies acquired new business partnerships through social media. 

Did you know that 32% of B2B companies engage with social media on a daily basis while the rate is at 52% of for B2C companies? It's a good example of the fact that B2B strategy on social media need to be promoted and developed. 

Social media can help with loyalty. Indeed, 63% of B2C marketers think social media help them develop loyalty, compared to 53% for B2B marketers. 

B2B customers relationships are often fewer and stronger that B2C customers relationships. Regarding this, social media can only strengthen these relationships and complement them. It can not replace the necessary face to face communication.
While B2C companies can have purely digital relationship with their customers, it's still a real need for B2B companies to use social media as a complement and not a replacement of the real interactions. 

However, what social media has allowed for B2C companies can also have an influence in the B2B world.
We're talking about closer engagement and real-time digital conversation. 

The use of social media is different between B2C and B2B. Clients of B2B companies are often in competition with each others. For example, two local ice creams shops may buy their plastic spoons from the same supplier.
Because of this, a B2B company needs to be careful with the deals or offers they give to their clients. 

Social media doesn't have the same impact on every business. There is a sort of scale. It goes from 1 to 10 on how much social media can impact your business. If you're Starbucks, your social media potential is surely about 10, but if you're selling stealth bombers to the government, your social media potential is probably about 1 or 2, but it's never 0.

Listen first ! It's essential for B2C companies and it's just as important for B2B. The most important is to know where conversations are taking places but also what they are about. 
You'll be able to better determine the needs of your clients by listening what they are saying. 
Good B2B companies have always listened to their clients. 
Great B2B companies goes further by listening their competitors' clients. 

It's important to listen likes and dislikes. That way, you can stay ahead of the game.