Social media isn't just about following your friends or posting pictures of your food anymore. Companies all over the world are using it to engage with customers more personally than ever before. Smart uses of social media not only increase brand awareness, they promote customer loyalty and enthusiasm. Using social media correctly is a must if businesses wants to reach out, but doing so in new and innovative ways can sometimes be a major hurdle. Here are a few examples of companies that are taking the right approach to social media.
1. Southwest Airlines
Airlines get kind of a bad rap these days, what with the long lines, increasing ticket prices, and limited seat space. Social media for airlines can easily turn into a nightmare, but Southwest Airlines seems to have hit upon the right formula. For one thing, Southwest maintains a vibrant blog that allows actual employees to talk about their experiences and how great the company is. Southwest has also gained a positive reputation for interacting with customers over Facebook and Twitter. When customers take to social media to voice their complaints, Southwest is known for going the extra mile to apologize and offer solutions.
Finding creative ways to promote blenders may seem challenging, but Blendtec found out just the way to do it. Using YouTube, the company has launched a series of videos you've likely heard of called "Will It Blend?" The concept is simple: place any product you can think of in a Blendtec blender and see how well it blends. Needless to say, the videos have become hugely popular and have led to big sales for the company.
Any online store better have an exceptional social media presence if it wants to survive. Online retailer Zappos is a perfect example. From the very outset Zappos encourages customers to click the "Like" button for its Facebook page. If the button is pressed, customers are given fans-only content like exclusive promotions and videos. Zappos also runs a "Fan of the Week" photo contest involving its signature boxes. Other fans can vote for the photo they want to see win.
Frequent customers at Starbucks are known for being tech-savvy, so it should come as no surprise the company does well on social media. Starbucks takes full advantage of nearly all major social media outlets from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter. The company has even created some of its own outlets, like "Ideas in Action," to help customers get in touch with each other and share ideas.
5. Nu Skin
Personal care company Nu Skin is very active on social media, connecting people from all over the world and creating a tight-knit community. On Nu Skin's Facebook page, the company shares inspirational quotes, recipes for healthy meals, and exercise tips for those looking to get in shape. Nu Skin also shares testimonials and pictures of fans who have found success losing weight and getting fit.
6. Martell Home Buyers
You may wonder how a home construction company can be a great example of using social media, but Martell Home Buyers has found an excellent way to reach their customers. The company heavily promotes its blog and social media pages, but it makes the most impact with its photo updates. The company posts photos of homes currently under construction, allowing customers to keep close track of their home's progress and share it with family and friends on social networks.
Social media is also a great way for small businesses to reach new customers. Online shoe store OptimalRun.com allows customers to submit questons about shoes. The company then sends back a personalized video talking about the shoes they asked about. The videos can then be shared with the customer's friends on social media.
These companies show how to do social media right in a crowded marketplace. Positive word-of-mouth from customers on social networks can be just as effective as a well-executed advertising campaign.
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