As most business owners know, social media is not just a passing phase; it’s a phenomenon that gives them plenty of ways to advertise their products, reach out to customers, and to deal with any possible customer service related issues as quickly as possible.
As Online MBA Page notes, social media can help make a faceless company seem personal and engaging, and encourage people to become loyal customers. In addition, social media savvy companies can keep tabs on current trends and news and mention them in their updates, which may end up being shared or re-tweeted over and over.
While the vast majority of large companies have developed social media pages for their businesses on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more, not all pages are created equally.
In order to really nail the immense marketing power that social media has to offer, businesses must use the medium to do a lot more than disperse generic information about the company, website URL and phone number.
The following four companies have embraced the concept of social media with open arms, and have created a successful presence their customers truly appreciate.
Whole Foods Market
This company, which is known for its outstanding selection of healthy foods, is a social media champion. As Fortune notes, the grocery chain is present on at least 7 social media sites, including Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.
In 2013, Whole Foods Market decided to really take the customer service bull by the horns and dedicate time and resources to reach out to loyal customers.
In order to do this, the company created a team that is devoted to closely watching all of Whole Foods Market’s social media accounts, looking for customer comments of all kinds.
The team also keeps tabs on Whole Foods Market’s local social accounts, which means if someone in Phoenix, Arizona posts a question or comment about the store he or she frequents on that store’s Facebook page, the team of social media monitors will see it and reply.
This approach has helped Whole Foods Markets to create a truly personal and meaningful connection with their customers, who appreciate that their messages are being read.
Whole Foods Market has also used social media to help teach customers about current issues relating to food; for example, when the grocer announced it would start labeling foods that contained GMOs, hundreds of customers responded with questions. The team used this opportunity to educate shoppers about GMOs and answer the commonly-asked questions.
Social media can be used in extremely clever ways to not only advertise a company’s product, but also to touch upon the values and personal beliefs of its customers, Buzzfeed notes.
The Dove company took this concept and hit it right out of the ballpark recently when it created a 3-minute “Real Beauty Sketches” video that featured an FBI-trained sketch artist drawing unseen women based on their own descriptions of themselves, as well as a stranger’s description.
In every case, the sketches based on the stranger’s words were prettier than what the women described, which showed quite poignantly how hard women can be on themselves and their appearance. The video went viral and was posted and re-posted on social media; so far, it has been viewed over 114 million times.
The underlying message of “you are more beautiful than you think” was brilliant. Not only did Dove manage to show women how they can be their worst critics, the social media campaign reassured them of their beauty and also managed to get their company name into the mix.
Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants
Similar to Whole Foods Markets, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants created a “social listening desk” with a small team of people who spend their time monitoring the company’s numerous social media accounts and watching for ways they can “talk” with customers online. The approach was so successful, the company ended up adding to the team.
As a whole, the team tries to spot posts from guests that they can reply to in a very personal and meaningful way. For example, when a guest at a southern California location mentioned in a Tweet that she loved the Kimpton Hotel she was staying at but was bummed because she didn’t feel that well, the social media team forwarded the post to that hotel, and employees came to her room with hot tea, soup and a get well card.
The hotel also posts secret codes and passwords that guests can use to get a free upgrade or other extra amenity when they check in, and it also regularly posts job openings. This trio of approaches encourages people to be active participants on Kimpton’s social media pages.
For business owners who are considering following Kimpton’s lead and wish to post enticing secret codes their customers can use to get great deals on their purchases, they should take precautions to protect sensitive data, which might become more susceptible to hacking as the social media pages start to get more traffic.
By working with a company, business owners can make sure their important data is safe, as they enjoy a surge in their social media success.
The Walt Disney Company
When it comes to offering a huge variety of social media, The Walt Disney Company truly delivers. Rather than just having one large social media page on Facebook, the company has separate social media accounts for its movies and characters.
For example, the wildly popular movie “Frozen” has its own Facebook page that has been “liked” by more than 17 million people. The page provides fans of the movie with updates about Frozen-related apps, photos, quotes and more.
By branching out and creating 600 separate accounts, Disney is reaching even more people who don’t want to wade through one giant company page.
Business owners can use this tactic to create separate pages for different facets of the company; for example, a landscaper could have a Facebook page devoted to gardens and plants and an Instagram account that focuses solely on photos of its tree trimming services.