MARK4474- Energizing the groundswell

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I am short of time, so here’s a quick write up from the most recent chapter on engaging and energizing your customers.

Probably the greatest think about the groundswell, is a companies ability to energize their customers through the various media platforms. I have said it at least 20 times through these posts, but traditional marketing holds almost no truth to any sensible person today. Before I go out and buy a product, I first look up customer reviews on a companies website, and on sites like Twitter as well. I also look up reviews on YouTube, that way I can see the function ability of the product I am looking for.

In a lot of cases, the reviews I have found were by other customers, and not by the company itself. Sometimes a company will send these YouTube reviewers their products for free because they know the reviewers have a far reach, and there is no cost to the company to have their product promoted, less the actual cost of giving the item away for free. Anyways, that is still a lot cheaper than making a commercial for anything (Li & Bernoff, 2008).

This form of word-of-mouth marketing is a big reason why lots of companies do not budget for traditional marketing today. Not only is it cheaper, but word-of-mouth marketing it just way more personal, and people feel a lot better once they see someone like themselves using the product they want. I know that I feel a lot safer after reviewing another customers input because I feel they are often more trustworthy and honest than the company selling the products. More importantly, word-of-mouth marketing can spread like wildfire, if done right (Li & Bernoff, 2008).

There are a number of ways to energize your customers:

  1. Reviews: Give your best customers some power and send them the product you are trying to sell. In a lot of cases, the reviews given are shared on YouTube, and then they are spread through every social media platform. So think about the cost. You just have to ship the item to the reviewer and let them do the work for you!
  2. Create a platform for your customers to interact with each other. I feel like I have said this in every post, so I won’t apply it further, but engaging with other consumers with similar interests can be a lot of fun. Especially in the travel industry.
  3. Participate in various platforms in the groundswell yourself. Yes, you can create your own community, but you can easily join others like Twitter and Instagram to give more dynamics to your presence online.

Travel Industry:

I have already reviewed the companies that stand out to me.

  1. Outbound is an application for travellers. They succeed by empowering some of their users to become an Outbound blogger. Eventually, these bloggers review Outbound (with glowing references). They also engage a lot on Twitter, which is a really cheap way to spread a message.
  2. Rick Steve’s makes a good use of a self-hosted forum where travellers from anywhere can connect. The result is a VERY active community of people willing to give their own personal advice.

In general, the travel industry is made up of a lot of enthusiastic people to begin with, and there is no excuse for not trying to take advantage of that. Your biggest challenge is to decide how your going to energize your customers. Whether it be within your own community or on another.

Reference:

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2008). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business Press.

 

Categories: MARK4474- Social Media

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