Increasingly (and especially) in social media, consumers have a growing expectation for the brands they do business with. But, each day, those expectations are outpacing the ability for most companies to meet them.
One of the areas of growing expectations, and where there’s huge opportunity, is in the ability for people to get resolution online to problems they’re having with the brand – defective breaks, poor network coverage, billing disputes, etc. Consumers no longer want to wait on hold or wait for an email to discuss the issue they’re having.
With the company’s Twitter or Facebook page just a Google search away, more people are forcing brands into two-way conversations there. The challenge is that most companies aren’t ready for a true dialogue online.
Much of what companies have done in social media to date has been about pushing out offers, promotions or beginning a discussion from the brand’s point of view. What many are finding now is that there’s a need to have the entire brand conversation, one-to-one and in full view of everyone – the good, the bad and the unimaginable. Brands are good at having one-way conversations, but it’s these last two categories that will begin to change how companies structure their social media teams and how they begin to rethink how they use social channels.
Understanding how to navigate the social discussion, including where, when, and how to use content strategically and knowing who is driving the conversation is fundamental to bridging this expectation chasm. It also requires bringing the other areas of the brand together – marketing, legal, corp comm, customer service – to have the entire brand discussion, no matter the topic. Because, in the end, if brands can’t address the conversation in it’s totality, it will eventually find it difficult to have any conversation at all.