Corporate Uses of Social Media

While some companies are still trying to figure out how to involve their brand or company in the social media landscape, others have a large amount of resources dedicated solely to this vehicle. One such company, Southwest Airlines, is using Twitter to alert travelers of flight delays and last minute availability on flights.

Not only are corporations using social media tools to promote their brand and events and stay top of mind, but many are also using it as a means of managing customer service. Companies such as Zappos, Comcast and HR Block cite scalability and ease of management as huge advantages for using this medium (http://www.thestandard.com/news/2008/12/08/southwest-airlines-uses-twitter-alert-flyers-bad-weather). Using one porthole keeps customer complaints under control – they can be responded to quickly and directly, and companies can even mitigate complaints by communication with consumers proactively.

Companies that use social media platforms as part of their customer service efforts often don’t sit back and wait to be directly contacted. They use alerts to monitor conversations surrounding their brand, and often will respond to negative comments through customer service identities in an attempt to keep customers happy.  Some companies, such as Trip Advisor , do this by posting responses to negative customer reviews, while other companies are using services such as Dialogix to monitor social media conversation and sediment and aggregate the information to keep track of key influencers.

While many larger companies have seemed to “master” the use of social media, others are still left wondering how they can leverage this growing medium.  The recent Permission TV video seminar on “Building an Audience in the Digital Age” and Scott Kirsner’s recent book, “Fans, Friends & Followers” provide a few great tips to bear in mind:

  • You don’t have to leverage every social media vehicle; find one that helps you best connect with your audience.
  • Build a presence and use it to engage followers, customers, etc. with special promotions – and don’t forget to ask for feedback.
  • Find the right voice for your social media efforts; a passionate employee is best in this role, not necessarily the most senior.
  • Keep it up! Starting to use a social media site and then dropping the ball does nothing for brand image.

Good luck in your social media involvement and branding efforts, and until next time, keep tweeting!

— Posted by Danielle Millerick

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