Thursday, September 30, 2010

A training must for marketing departments: customers DO talk about your company!

Okay, maybe it's just me. But it seems that there is a blissful ignorance in marketing departments across the country. It goes something like this....

Marketer 1: Do you think customers will notice if we double the prices and start using much cheaper materials in our products?

Marketer 2: Nah. They're all too busy talking on Facebook and Twitter to care.

Why do I think that? And what in the heck does this have to do with company training? Let me tell you.

I just read a rant on a site called "Search Insider: The inside line on Search Marketing"... here's a little taste of what author Gord Hotchkiss had to say:

"...where do hotels get off charging exorbitant rates for WiFi access and then give you a thin dribble of bandwidth that shuts on and off like a bad neon light? Multiply 13 bucks a night by 200 or 300 rooms for an average-sized hotel. That's about $3,000 every day, or a million dollars a year. This isn't rocket science, people. For that money, I should have a data pipe the size of a Volvo plugged into my laptop."

Conversations like this, albeit maybe without Gord's style, are going on, online, every single day!

And yes, they happen on Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter... (and maybe even on MySpace, although I think most of those are limited to random posts from non-existent Scandanavian models looking for cash, I mean American husbands...) but most marketing departments seem to be blissfully unaware of what's being said.

And the people in the big offices upstairs? Even more unaware.

So here is the training part:

  • Make sure everyone in your company knows how to use social media.

  • Teach everyone in your company how to monitor social media.

  • Get people in the habit of using it by creating company blogs, Facebook pages for employees, in-house Twitter accounts and other social tools. As a plus, not only will you be training people on the how-to's, you'll be increasing employee retention because connection=retention.

Not sure about the online world yourself? Look for webinars on social media, listening to buzz online and social marketing, then share the webinars and your new-found knowledge with the rest of the company.

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