Monday, 27 September 2010

Every Interaction Matters

My husband recently forwarded me a link to an article that so resonated with me I had to share it. Titled, “How to Build 24/7 Relationships, Using New Media.” You can read it at

This latest piece in the PATTERNS series by the savvy folks at IDEO gave me hope that the days of being stuck in an endless and seemingly hopeless loop of one-way dialogue (which I recently found myself a part of when our air conditioner went out in the heat of the summer) are hopefully on their way out the door. Don’t worry the AC was eventually fixed but the customer service I received from the home insurance group I dealt with was so bad I was compelled to use Facebook as a place to vent my frustration. Every time I spoke to anyone it was as if I were speaking to a robot that gave a response to my question as if reading it from a list of answers on a cue card.

I feel the times they are a changing though. And I am excited and happy to be a part of it! With all the social media channels available to us, turning a negative interaction into a positive one, creating meaningful dialogues and truly connecting with colleagues, business partners and most importantly customers is a snap. It’s as easy as popping open your laptop at your local wireless café and logging on to your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn group or blog. You have the power to create significant “micro-moments” and really make a difference in someone’s day.

Fingers frozen on your keyboard? Not sure what to say? Sam Ford at PRSA has some insightful words of wisdom for “Putting Messages in Motion”. He advises:
. Listen: Find the audiences who are talking about your brand and understand the issues they care about, the language they use and the nature and culture of the community.

. Converse: Reach out and address your audience’s concerns and issues those audiences you are listening to raise. Find where they are already having those conversations.

. Build: By launching social media platforms and initiatives in ways that link to and draw from the places where audiences are already talking, you stand the best chance of building a blog, microblog, social network presence or mobile application that people will care about.

. Maintain: Never look at listening as an initial “research phase.” To build a long-term relationship with your audience, it’s crucial that listening remains a cornerstone of your social media strategy.

For the complete article visit:

In the mood for some social media benchmarking? Check out some creative B2C and B2B companies that have added social media to their marketing mix at and

Have you added social media tools to your marketing arsenal? The team at BrightBlue would love to start a conversation with you. What has worked? What has not? Have you fine-tuned your 140 character creative Twitter Tweet? What compelling discussions have you had in a Linkedin group recently? Want to talk about best practices in regards to video blogs? Let’s share insights so we can learn how to perfect our social media marketing muscles together. Please join us in ongoing conversations of just about everything marketing! We’re easy to find on:
Facebook, search BrightBlue Marketing and choose the one that says local business page. Like us there; we'll friend or like you back!


Andrea Lamarsaude


Sam Ford said...

Thanks, Andrea! Glad you enjoyed the Strategist piece, and thanks for sharing it with your readers.

AndreaDallas said...

Thank YOU Sam for your very insightful article! You make an excellent point that, "Companies must start with listening as the cornerstone of all their social media efforts."
We have to know what our audience is talking about, what their concerns are, what issues they are dealing with on a daily basis. If we do not then how can we give them well thought out feedback and suggestions they can use?

Sam Ford said...

I think that has to be the sort of approach a public relations mindset must guide for marketing. If it provides a meaningful new way to give customers something they want or need, then it's probably a worthwhile initiative to start with. If not, then I question its usefulness. "Because it's cool" is not a good reason to do something. "Because our customers want or need it" is the better pain point to solve. And, to be sure, listening is not the same as hearing. It isn't finding a company to aggregate what people are saying about you and turning them into pie charts (not that there's no use in quantitative research--not saying that). I think we sometimes think generating some quantitative data or creating a customer segmentation somehow magically tells us all we need to know about the customer, when it doesn't really speak to her/him at all..

Anonymous said...

Sam's most recent comment brings up a very good point - numbers don't mean a thing if you're not really engaging with the people you are linked up with. This is why I would take an *active* group of 500 'friends' online over an unengaged group of 5,000 - there's no influence, no dialog and no value.

PLUS, anyone can buy or create a list of 'followers' or 'fans' - unless you're engaging with folks in the social world, you're just wasting time and showing empty numbers...numbers that won't lead to any sales, build credibility or increase traffic to your site.

~ Narciso Tovar (@Narciso17)
Big Noise Communications

Sam Ford said...

Thanks, Narcisco, and completely agreed.