Without conversation, social media is just another way for companies to plaster their goods all over our feeds, much like advertising on the television and radio. When businesses utilise two way communication, not only does it allow customers to voice their opinions, but the reach of the response also helps to bring in new customers. As we’ve seen in my previous posts, the lack of this communication has failed businesses in the past, for this post I want to focus on the effects that two way has had on businesses that have utilised it, the good, the bad and the turnarounds.
Many start up businesses are finding success by using the voice of avid social media users to sell their products. One of these brands is Sigma Beauty, a company founded only in 2008 that ended last year with 25 million dollars in sales. A large part of their success stems from their savvy social media use, using successful YouTubers to sell their products for them. Not only does Sigma get more customers, the YouTubers also get 10% for every sale from their affiliate links. This is an extremely effective form of marketing, as viewers of YouTube look up to the online stars as friends, not distant celebrities.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out so well. Last year, the New York Police Department invited twitter uses to share their experiences with the law enforcement by using the hashtag #myNYPD. Whilst they had good intentions, they didn’t expect the response to highlight the existing police brutality issues within the force. Instead of responding to this turn of events, they ignored it, which ultimately led to more mistrust surrounding the force.
My final example revolves around the ride sharing app Uber. During the Sydney siege earlier in the year, users were extremely shocked to find that they were being charged a fare increase, due to the heightened use of the app when people were rushing from the city. Instead of ignoring users complaints about their automatic procedure of the rides becoming more expensive during busy times, Uber quickly responded to the complaints and eventually removed the fare increase, a decision that they regretted not doing immediately. Whilst this did reach the media, the negative attention quickly passed due to their immediate response to what their customers were saying, and making changes accordingly.
I’d like to finish this post by highlighting the importance of communicating with your customers, either through social media icons their customers trust or by directly responding to them, as this can be crucial to the future of your business.