This week i commented at work the fact that some blogs rival in terms of online audience with same major newspapers, with marketers needing to review their traditional media planning. On a happy coincidence, today the Wall Street Journal writes why many marketers are lagging behind consumers in terms of social media.
Illustration by Matt Hamm under a CC License
Don’t just talk at consumers — work with them throughout the marketing process.
The conversations consumers have with each other, result in “some of the most interesting insights,” including gift ideas for specific occasions, such as a college graduation, and the prices consumers are willing to pay for different gifts.
Give consumers a reason to participate.
Other companies provide more-direct incentives: cash rewards or products, some of which are available only to members of the online community. Still others offer consumers peer recognition by awarding points each time they post comments, answer questions or contribute to a wiki entry
Listen to — and join — the conversation outside your site.
monitor relevant online conversations among consumers and, when appropriate, look for opportunities to inject themselves into a conversation or initiate a potential collaboration.
Resist the temptation to sell, sell, sell.
When consumers are invited to participate in online communities, they expect marketers to listen and to consider their ideas. They don’t want to feel like they’re simply a captive audience for advertising, and if they do they’re likely to abandon the community.
Don’t control, let it go.
“You have to let the members drive. When community members feel controlled, told how to respond and how to act, the community shuts down.”