You Have to Be Real
by: Alan Gilleo
Social Media is no longer a craze. For most of us, it’s become a way of life. We wake up and check our emails, Facebook, and Twitter all before pouring our first cup of coffee or even getting out of bed. As such, social media is allowing brands to connect with people like never before. Virtually in real time, a customer can voice a complaint or pay a compliment, and the brand can respond back to the customer directly. It’s how well you manage and participate within that conversation that establishes and maintains your brand’s reputation in the digital space.
Today’s social media-intensive world has spurred an evolution in brand management. People need to know that you are authentic: that you care about them and that you are working to help solve their problems and provide results. Your brand’s social media needs to create value for your consumers – real value. This value can come in the form of customer service, educational information, money and savings solutions, entertainment, or timesaving tips and tactics. If people think that you are just trying to “sell” them, no amount of social networking ability will create a loyal and engaged fan. But, if your brand creates an experience that indeed provides value to them, not only will they keep coming back, but they will also share your brand with their network of friends, family and co-workers.
That’s why I always say: brands need to fall in love with their consumer first. Most brands want their consumers to love them, like them, share them and buy them – but don’t realize it’s a two-way street. You show them you care; your consumer will care. It is my belief that authenticity wins. Every time.