Social media at its best!

4 09 2010

Now, ever since we were kids, our parents would always encourage us to share our things. Share your toys, share your games, share your food, share your clothes, and the list goes on, you get the point. So because of that, we’ve evolved into very courteous beings when it comes to sharing. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always apply to us in the competitive business world. We’re naturally very competitive and we try to gain as much information over our colleagues. Luckily, our culture is rapidly moving towards a mentality that encourages people to share and be open in order to be successful. It’s all about sharing information and working together to successfully achieve something. That’s what blogging and micro blogging are enabling us to do.

Companies are realizing the importance of what social media applications could offer to them in both internal and external environment. For instance, the internal purpose could improve communications on projects, update employees via RSS, discuss about timely issues, sharing insights and developments, and more. Whereas the externally part could be, marketing their business products to current and potential customers, and at the same time improve their relationship by engaging with their customers and communities (Watson, 2010). It’s a cheap, cunning, and clever way of doing business effectively.

Key differences between Blogging and Micro Blogging
Length – Well, I’m sure that most if not all of you are aware that micro blogging sites such as Twitter are limited to a 140 characters. It’s no rocket science – it is a simple system that sets a limitation on the input field. Whereas, blogging has no limitation to how many characters you want to have. Write up to a gazillion words you won’t run out of space. Though, it might be a little tedious when it comes to proofreading.

Less Time – You can probably type as many as 20 tweets in the time it takes you to write/edit up a whole blog post. Twitter is very natural to adopt for bloggers who have no time on their hands to seriously post. All it takes is a random thought and you can spontaneously post it up within a few seconds.

Visitors – The number of followers on your micro blog would probably be more than the number of visitors on your actual blogs. For instance, Twitter users can easily follow a random topic that they might come across. By viewing a friend’s profile you might find a topic that you might be interested in and all you have to do is click “follow” and vice versa your followers could do the same thing (Yourdon, 2008).

Companies who are using it
JetBlue is using Twitter to advertise their products to their 1.6 million followers and it’s crucial that they do it right. While promoting their products, it’s important that they don’t over do it by acting like an annoying product pusher because people are subscribing to their site. Looking at their Twitter (@JetBlue), it’s obvious that they have effectively reached out to their customers in a subtle manner. Here is an example of one their tweets:

“JetBlue has landed on eBay. We wanted to try something different. We’re auctioning off some great packages on eBay”

On the other hand, Kodak, which has a chief blogger (@kodakCB), wrote about how the company uses it’s product rather than giving subtle product pitch:

“Spent the weekend at the Toronto International Film Festival. Saw some great movies shot on Kodak film.”

In a nutshell, it’s important for companies to avoid marketing speak by indirectly pushing their products. For instance, saying things like, “Come check out all out great deals on eBay!” or “Go buy our newest film!” Instead, be up front and honest with customers and reveal exactly what you’re trying to achieve. It’s also a good idea to be casual with your followers on Twitter rather than being too formal and boring.
(Lynch, 2008)

Morgan Johnston – Corporate Communications Manager of JetBlue talks about how they use Twitter:

Other than their Twitter account, they also have a Blog site called BlueTales which basically publishes timely news and commentary about the happenings at JetBlue and in the wider airline industry. It’s a place where JetBlue is able to talk about things in more detailed as apposed to their Twitter page. The blog is more of a central gravity of their social media universe. They have effectively adopted apps such as, Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr for the sole purpose of assisting their valuable customers and crewmembers.

For instance, recently they partnered with the Cancer Treatment Centres of America and Reality Cares – a non-profit organization. As a sponsor, JetBlue promoted their products by giving away JetPaws carriers to celebrities which was an excellent method of exposing themselves. It was a great way of marketing their products because the public will get the idea that they are not only focusing on their business, but they are also supporting charities.

What’s even more interesting is how JetBlue records their customer’s testimonial and post it up on their blog. One of their flights to JFK was two and a half hour late and the pilot personally apologized. He was very upfront, honest and most importantly kept the customers updated. That’s the kind of customer service that people want. Here’s the full video:

Potential pitfalls that they might face:

  • Need to keep things constantly updated otherwise you will lose potential customers.
  • It’s easy to start, but hard to maintain. You need interesting and relevant contents to post. It’s also not as easy as saying something and walking away because customers will question.
  • Blogs are fairly a spontaneous medium, and as a result of that, contents might offend some readers without you even knowing it.
  • The blogs might seem disorganized to some customers, with multiple tones and opinions.
  • References

  • Lynch, C. G. 2008. Twitter for Business: Four Ways Companies Use Microblogging
  • Watson, J. 2010. Blogs and Micro Blogging in the Enterprise
  • Yourdon. 2008. More on blogging vs. micro-blogging
  • Advertisements



    3 responses

    28 09 2010
    Lien Nguyen

    I think twitter has good uses, such as posting regular updates on products.
    True, these blog posts does need regular checks for comments and you’ll need to interact more with the community. Imagine you wrote a blog post 2 years back and someone just commented on it, when do they receive their reply? what happens when you don’t reply? possibly losing customer attraction to the business. Don’t you agree?

    28 09 2010

    Definitely. If you’re using a blog for your organization or business in general, there’s nothing worse than having it inactive or not replying to your readers. What’s the point of having a blog in the first place when you don’t plan to maintain it?

    30 09 2010
    Lien Nguyen

    I totally agree. if i was to use a blog for myself i would check and respond to replies regularly so that it shows I have some kind of respect to my readers. I don’t want to detract readers from my blog. I mean, you don’t want your readers to wait for months on a simple question that could be answered instantly.

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: