“Black Hole” your customers

When done right, social media can create a “black hole effect” around a brand in which customers not only create excitement around your brand but also immerse themselves in it. The keyword here being “customer”. The secret is to put yourself in their shoes and portrait this way of thinking on your web presences. In essence it is not about your company and products but about the clients and how they see your world.

“We like to look at topics differently here at Tangram Media”, says Jamie Adams who is their Director of Social Media. Once marketers “get hold of something, they tend to ruin it,” he says. “Most brands are trying to control the social media conversation. Many firms have poured resources into social media and now they’re scratching their heads trying to figure out how to make money from it. Our approach is more about participating in the community and celebrating it.”

That is a direction we’ll see more companies taking, he predicts, it’s based on a really simple idea: treat your customers the way they want to be treated.

Adams says the first thing a retailer getting into social media needs to consider is “what are you going to talk about?” A lot of companies come out “blabbing about themselves all the time basically,” and that’s the wrong way to go. “People like to associate themselves with brands,” Adams says, “But they don’t want to hear about them all the time.”

“Stop trying to use social media as an acquisition channel.” In fact, he says, company’s would be better off putting their social media into the hands of staff responsible for customer satisfaction rather than acquisition. “Put it in retention, not acquisition,” he says.

What brought the customer to you in the first place?

Social Media Training

Be careful before you outsource your social media functions, he warns. “A lot of large firms outsource to PR companies or corporate communications. Those folks are not always in touch with your brand, so that may not be the best strategy. Find someone in your company who uses social media and is passionate about your brand. That’s the type of person you want handling your social media.

He suggests, “Think about what draws that customer to you in the first place.” In Tangram Media’s case, he notes, “We’re a forward looking company and we celebrate the fact that the marketing landscape is changing. Everything will evolve into a customer orientated ecosphere where selling yourself becomes unnecessary.” One way to get the customer involved is to spin stories around your products and services. “Get into it,” he says. “Interact with followers. Point out other people in the community.”

Adams says you should do as much tracking as you can, but don’t obsess over it. “We’re very heavily into analytics and insights so it’s in my nature to collect a lot of data and analyze it. But don’t obsess. Build tracking in where ever you can.”

It’s probably a mistake to look at social media just for ROI, he notes. “When you’re really good at social media, you get a black hole effect,” he says. “Social media sharing creates deep interest in a brand. People get excited about what you’re doing and share it, creating excitement around your trademark.”

James Adams Director of Social Media at Tangram Media Inc.