By using social media tools, the fashion industry can uncover a goldmine of consumer inspiration and trend-testing. The ability to identify and capitalize on what’s hot and catch rising trends in advance of market saturation can make all the difference to a fashion brand or retailer’s margin. The ability to amplify the buzz of a new look at social’s warp-speed provides even the most leading edge designers with a strategic weapon. So why, with all this creative energy and market-moving opportunity available to an industry built around trends, do so few fashion organizations take social business beyond the most routine implementation?
In the B2B world, reach is less important than depth. Decision-makers rely most heavily on peer referrals when making strategic or expensive decisions. One colleague who has hands-on experience will naturally weigh exponentially more heavily than endorsing tweets of 100 strangers! It is the details of practice and depth of insight that helps shape larger decisions and the public social media marketing tools rarely provide an appropriate platform for these kinds of explorations to occur online.
Funny thing about customers: unlike staff, you can’t make them stop talking in public about what they like — or don’t like — about your products, services, policies, practices or personnel. But you can respond in public — if you’re careful — and maybe even develop a pro-active customer care strategy that integrates best practice using the social web.
ocial media is all about marketing, right? Wrong. Marketing has been advancing the role of social media in business quite actively for some time, and are likely to have evolved social media use and experimentation ahead of the other lines of business. However, best practice often reveals that the most successful marketing programs offer a blended approach of traditional and social media driven programs. To strike the right balance in a social strategy informed by marketing, consider the following questions as part of the due diligence process:
There are different reasons why people participate in online communities. Not one size of inspiration fits all online community members. People tend to respond better to appropriately designed reward stimulus. Simply put, if they get what they need online, they will be more likely to continue their participatory acts. And, as any seasoned community manager knows, without the active posters, the community is just a content shell. Post-less communities don”t serve the customer needs as well as an active community does, especially within the B2B world as engagement is a main measure of social business success. So, when designing scalable engagement programs it is critical to first typify the categories of membership into profiles or personas in order to encourage and reward them for their online visibility.
Listen up! Put down that smartphone, stand up, raise your right hand and repeat after me: 1) I promise to…
Before your marketing department skips off to push information about a webinar or a new product or service out the virtual door, it’s worth taking a moment to ask: Is this information adding value in the social sphere? Would anyone care about this tweet, post or blog? Is it simply self-serving? Does it demonstrate integrity and shepherd a new idea or point-of-view? Does it demonstrate trust and a deep awareness of the audience and business needs it tries to support?
And, simply put, would anyone want to say “thank you” for this information?
Few seasoned marketing professionals would argue that online thought leadership is a waste of time or money. Most would say it’s an imperative. But while the “Must dos!” on this topic are whizzing past, the instructions on “How?” seem to have been left behind. To help with the how, I work with thought leaders within enterprises via a social media immersion program. The program’s goal is to help marketing and other thought leadership executives make the shift away from traditional to online and social thought leadership – cuz it ain’t easy! It means rethinking the “how.”
“It’s the antenna, stupid!”
Well, sure it is. But Apple’s (AAPL) handling of this product problem in the new world of social media and social commerce is worth considering in detail. Here’s the key statistic:
During seven trading days, from the Friday (July 9th) prior to Consumer Reports’ confirmation of the antenna problem and the “Not Recommended” review (Monday July 12) through Monday, July 19th, AAPL stock dropped around $15 per share. With a little over 900M shares outstanding, this means AAPL lost $12 BILLION in market capitalization — a 5% decline. For comparison, the DJII and NASDAQ indexes for same period were essentially flat.