How Social Will Drive Customer Experience into 2014
By Ted Rubin
Social is becoming more “social!”: It has taken some push-back from people who use social channels, but brands are finally figuring out the importance of #RonR in the space and that they can’t just turn social platforms into blast media channels. There has been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth on the part of lazy marketers that still try to take short-cuts, but the rewards for good social behavior are just too big to ignore. Spammers are getting penalized, and good networkers and community builders are reaping benefits.
People in general are responding on social channels to things that move them emotionally. An inspiring quote, photos of loved ones, a request for prayers during a difficult time, these are the things that get likes, shares and comments, and not so much the silly antics of celebrities. Those antics have become less important than person-to-person connections.
Less Silos-More Social Integration: As businesses are carried on the tide of social change, it has become more and more apparent that things can’t go on as they did before. Mobile technology has changed the game completely, and now everyone has a computer in their pocket. Your customers look for you on social channels mainly via mobile devices. They do research, get peer reviews and buy right from their smartphones, and at the same time they’re texting, posting photos on Instagram, and checking email.
Businesses have to multitask as well. They’re finding that the more they integrate social into their processes and departmental communications, and the more they empower their employees to act as social advocates and customer service reps, the better. Social media is part of the overall mix, not a separate line item any more. Moving into 2014, I think we’re going to see more and more companies wrapping everything they do in a social shell. Most importantly, I think you’ll see more brands blur the lines between marketing and customer service.