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Making the Brand. Social Media for the Long Haul

Posted on : 16-02-2009 | By : Frank Eliason | In : Brands, Business, Social Media

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What do you get when you add together Ian Schafer, Brian Morrissey and Gary Vaynerchuk?  A lively discussion on social media and business participation.  Immediately when I viewed the video on Friday I knew I wanted to take the opportunity to share it here.  Not only are they great minds when it comes to social media, they make points that every business needs to hear.  A few weeks ago I did a presentation about business blogging and the person that represents that to me?  GaryVee.  Not that every business should act the same way he does, that is not the point of social media.  We should not try to be someone we are not.  In my opinion the key to Gary’s success is his passion.  That is what it is all about.  I have a passion for Customer Service, and that comes out in everything I do.

So what is the key to hiring for social media?  It all comes down to that passion.  Most likely you already have that person within your organization.  Instead of hiring that expert, tap into this passionate person to represent the brand.  When I hire for positions on my team I am always striving to hire the most passionate people.  They are always successful and they do a great job at representing the brand.

The key for any business to understand is people will be talking about your brand whether you are there or not.  If there are flaws within your organization they will be magnified in social media.  So it is important for the organization to identify and work on these issues.  I will say , from experience, social media is a great place to learn the pulse of your Customers.  It is not a statistical sample of opinion but it is certainly a sample of the loudest opinion.  My favorite part about the space is how well it brings the Customer story to life.  If you work for an organization that is looking to improve, gathering feedback from blogs and other social media spaces is phenomenal.  People may like to look at numbers, but when they relate to a story things really change.

The converse is social media will reward organizations that have a positive way of doing business.  The way to measure this is simply do a search for Zappos.  Their model is about allowing and teaching social media to their employees.  It is the model to build from.  It comes down to their policies and how they are so well liked by their Customers, such as 2 way shipping. 

Another fun topic that is brought up is the famous sleeping tech video impacting a company I know.  This is a great lesson for companies and why it is so important to listen to your Customers through all channels to improve the experience.  Ultimately something like this can come out.  The reason I actually love the example is it was a driver for my company to listen closely to social media.  It then led to the work my team and I have been doing over the past year or so.  In the video there was some discussion about my own worth to Comcast, but I want to say a few things on this.  My worth is really because of the great team of people I work with.  It is also why I am a big believer in having a team involved in social media.  This allows everyone to take part in the conversation.  Also if one person does leave there are other great people to step up to the plate.  At Comcast we have a number of great people involved in social media, include @ComcastBill, @ComcastBonnie and @ComcastGeorge.  We also have many other great team members involved in other social media spaces or working behind the scenes to ensure we are successful.  That is how you can build a social media Customer advocacy team to last.