Using technology to your advantage isn’t difficult. Start by buying a domain, building a website, and selling your products online. But, social technology isn’t quite as simple. It takes on a life of its own because it’s 90% social and 10% technology. And it’s not just bloggers you have to think about, you also have to think of people who use Twitter, Facebook, comment on blogs, forums, etc.
That’s not to say that this is a bad thing. It’s quite the opposite. Offering a place where customers can talk about your products and help each other with problems can be beneficial in several ways. Two of them being from a marketing and financial standpoint.
When you try out a new restaurant and the food is great, what’s the first thing you’d expect people to do? I would expect that person to write a Facebook post about it. It would probably be along the lines of “Went to dinner at *restaurant* and the food was awesome!” That’s free marketing. You had awesome food… so they told their friends. And now it’s in the back of their friends minds. So, the next time their friend wants to go out to dinner and they’re debating on where they want to go… they’ll remember “OH! *person* said *restaurant* had awesome food… let’s check it out!”
This also works with forums. If you search “AT&T Forums” the first thing to pop up is AT&T Community Support. Here consumers can post questions about their products and other users and even employees can help! I looked around their boards and there were plenty of AT&T employees who were willing to share their knowledge while not on the clock, as well as other customers who were able to help and AT&T even has people dedicated to monitoring the forums to answer questions. This is a fast and easy way to knock out questions without having to put someone on hold several times during a phone call to transfer them to whomever they need to speak with. The fewer people involved in a question, the fewer resources you need to use per problem. This also energizes the community. AT&T has different levels for people who help out on the forums. They have titles from “senior warrior” to “senior ninja”. And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to be known as a warrior or ninja online?
So, how do you use social technology to your advantage? You energize your customers and potential customers, you listen to what they’re saying, and you respond in helpful ways and prove you’re listening. Because what good is going online for answers if there’s no one there with answers?
What would you do to use social technology to your advantage?