3 ways progressive companies are embracing the consumer revolution

Millions of businesses are using social media. However, only a select few are using it progressively; only some understand that we are facing a Consumer Revolution – where the consumer has the power and ability to shape your brand.

From what I’ve seen, the progressive companies are harnessing and sharing power with the consumer by doing the following:

Listening

Everyone thinks they’re listening to their consumers, Fans, Followers and audience(s). But are you really listening?

If you’re listening it means:

  • Your social media posts nearly always garner engagement and interaction
  • Additionally, every post or mention by a Fan, Follower or customer has been responded to (and in a timely manner!)
  • Your blog posts receive comments and shares
  • Your CTR (click-through rates) and open rates for emails or newsletters meet or exceed industry standards

Why do those things mean you’re listening? Because companies that truly listen are consumed with keeping their consumers happy.

This means they know and understand exactly what that their would-be and actual customers want. They know because they’ve asked, studied, and made it a point to care. They continuously strive to give their audience information that is credible, helpful, and sharable.

Originality

Notice how that one cat or inspirational quote meme circulates Web 2.0 over and over? How many times have you seen the “Keep Calm And Carry On” poster used on social media?

Take a closer look at the brands sharing those things. They are not original. They have shared and copied and likely ripped off every other brand out there without ever once coming up with original content.

The progressive companies, however, are standing out from the crowd. They’re clearly differentiating themselves with quality content that’s current (AND helpful, AND entertaining!).

If you’re original it means:

  • Your brand stands out with authentic content, visuals, stories and conversation
  • You’ve dropped the “ME” mentality, and continuously help your audience(s) with free tips, tricks and examples or case studies
  • You have created your own themes, characters, and sayings (a great example is Media Barista)

Which brings me to …

Conversation

Think Conversation, Not Campaign is specific to the B Squared Media brand, but the concept is not. Brands determined to understand their audience(s) cannot do so without in-depth conversation.

We underscore the importance of psychographics at B Squared, and use them to discern the thoughts, ideas, beliefs and attitudes of our communities.

Conversation is how we disclose information, how we form bonds, and how we learn to trust one another as credible information sources. Without it, especially on social media, we are merely pushing out information, never knowing if it resonates with our intended recipients.

If you’re having conversation it means:

  • You are asking niche-specific questions on social media, and getting responses from various users
  • You’re replying to tweets with thank you, but are also asking questions such as, “What did you think about the article?”
  • You seek to understand others, even if your viewpoints differ; you welcome debate and idea sharing

So? Are you listening? Are you original? Are you engaging in insightful and meaningful conversations?

Are you a progressive company joining the Consumer Revolution, or are you merely sharing and re-sharing everyone else’s viewpoints and expecting to stand out?

(image:flickr)

Today’s invited author is Brooke Ballard, Founder and Chief Social Strategist at B Squared Media, LLC. Brooke is also a contributing member of  Social Solutions Collective.
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6 thoughts on “3 ways progressive companies are embracing the consumer revolution

  1. Concise summary. Unfortunately I am not witnessing too much originality out there since too many companies have read the how to’s of social media. I am hopeful. We might have witnessed a break through during the Super Bowl where Mondelez’s command center reacted in real time and was empowered to release their Oreos ad: Dunking in the Dark. Maybe we will witness more real time originality.

    • It is true and I agree, originality is missing today, not only in the SM space but in the ad network in general. It is refreshing and an easy stand-out when a unique creative pops up on the screen! Thanks for the the thought Jim…rcb

    • Thank you, Jim. I don’t witness much originality either – and honestly, it’s something even we struggle with. I think it’s one of the hardest things to do as a brand, but think it’s absolutely vital to standing out and filtering your message through the noise.

      Thanks so much for your feedback!

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