Somehow Wells Fargo was named Best Consumer Bank in North America, RIM despite not allowing users to check-in using Four Square on Blackberry begins “pursuing consumers” , and social media expert Brian Solis introduces the next phase of consumer behavior as Social Commerce. Does checking in really work? Are consumers overloaded yet? This week Southwest Airlines began emphasizing no change fees while a Connecticut Consumer rights groups published a list of holiday sales tricks to look out for and Jamison Bedding (yes, bedding company) began a new campaign to ‘spice up’ their online brand. Really, is this what consumer web has boiled down to, no change fees and sexy bedding? Social media may be a new and flooded market but consumers are not new to buying. Marketing is more important to ever, however branding should not be overlooked.
5 Factors companies should address with online branding:
1. Engagement Metrics: having a conversation with your customers and listening is more important than a temporary fan base. Neil Glassman of Social Times writes “Listening to your community of customers is the first, essential step in the social media engagement process.”
2. Privacy Not Worth a Coupon: short-term deals are great, long term consumers want to feel loved by their product or service. Facebook Places launched its deals program this week with speculation of an eventual privacy breach at risk.
3. Facebook and Twitter are Short-term: Many strategists argue that using a Facebook profile like a landing page can help you win over followers but as we have found followers and fans don’t always convert to paying customers.
4. Be Different: Old Spice taught us this year that thinking outside the box is a great way to interact with customers. Real-time answers, videos, and indirect marketing can many times bolster a brand.
5. Customer Service Always Wins: with quick ways to submit reviews via mobile or open help tickets, everyone is a Yelp reviewer at heart and ultimately loyalty programs can be the extra step needed to keep consumers for the long haul.
On the brightside new tools are coming out to help consumers avoid drunk posting and recent data shows us the best time to break up with someone is spring break. So if all other marketing strategies fail host a happy hour on a university campus, that could help lift a brand or minimally consumer spirits.