Pssst…. Here is a secret (I am not sure why it is still a secret)… Businesses must bow at the feet of the consumer- EVERY stinkin’ one of us. Consumers are now kings and business must focus on direct interaction with their customers (YOU) or they will die like dinosaurs.
There are two truths that cannot be argued as the foundation for our consumer conversation:
- We ALL have a voice and people listen.
- People listen more effectively when our message is in writing.
How many people are friends with you on Facebook? I have over 175. Of those I interact with maybe… 50 on a regular basis. Of those there are subsets specific to each area of my life- local friends, business people, industry people, friends abroad, etc… Without having to pick up the phone and call a single person or talk to anyone face to face; In about 30 seconds, I could let all those people know (at the same time) about an experience I had and they would listen to me and possibly tell others. It is that simple. You can reach at least the 50 – 250 people you have on your Facebook page today and start a conversation.
If you also have a My Space page and a Linked In account you could then tie them together using Twitter. When you tweet something- it goes to all your message boards. The message is written for all to see and easily understand. What does that mean??? Simple mass communication at a MICRO level. Twitter- aka- micro-blogging site.
We need to understand why having a written message is important. Ever see how a call from an attorney can get someone worked up- but if they get a LETTER from the attorney …. see what happens. Written words carry a finality that the spoken word has a hard time challenging. My Facebook message is difficult to misconstrue because it was IN WRITING. Putting my message into written words keeps the focus on the message I wanted and prevents the intent from being diluted as it trickles through communication channels.
I understand that there is something strange about how this works... Mass communication… and Micro-blogging… does not compute…. how can something be large and small?…. err….
Breakdown in 3 parts:
- simple, written messages (Micro)
- built for interaction (Community)
- on a easy to distribute, global level (Macro)
What this really means is that you now have a voice. Companies and people have always known reputation and word of mouth are important, but now consumers have a platform in which to discuss their relationships with business and people in an open forum that allows others to spread their message- virally. Not to mention- immediately.
If I love the local pizza place (AND I DO- It’s called EJ’s. ) I blog about what a great time I had there with my wife and kids on Twitter. My ‘micro-blog’ posts to Facebook where three other people I have accepted as “friends” see what I say and happen to live near by. Boom- they want to check out EJs. Because they trust me. I have a micro-community.
Understand that companies ‘get’ what I just did. They are trying to understand how to get their messages out at this level. An insightful IndiaTimes.com article discusses the evolution of Social Networks and Micro-Blogging through research that was recently published. “Gartner also predicts that by 2014, social networking services will replace e-mail as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications.” This means that businesses must adapt to how they communicate with one another and with consumers. Companies are going to have to interact at a micro-level and do so in written text.
Smart company marketing departments know we can fast forward through commercials thanks to DVR. We can subscribe to Internet based or satellite radio without commercials. We can choose to use sites on the web that do not use ads or have pop-ups. Companies cannot interrupt our lives as easily with their messages. The rules have changed. Messages have to have a meaning and be personal. Marketing is at a micro-level. It is time for consumers to use these new rules to our advantage.
If you enjoyed this article, I have discussed Twitter/Social Media before. In my previous posts on Twitter- The first post discussed my initial interest in Web 2.0. I dove deeper into social interaction and being engaged as the core to building an online community in my next post.
Obligatory Picture of Me
Taking Life Apart- What Does That Mean?I have decided to talk more about what I want and not just what I do at work. I have had a fascination since I was a child with understanding how things work. I would and still do- dismantle things to see how they work. I believe I have begun to do this with my life experience in my writing. So- here is my attempt at explaining the world I have been tearing apart in order to live my life.