The topic of harnessing social media to engage with customers, share new developments and provide better service will be more important than ever in 2010. Seems like 2009 was the year that companies started to take Twitter and Facebook seriously. Now the question is “What are our customers saying and what do we do about it.”
Marketing and media relations professionals are now tasked with tracking millions of conversations, keeping an eye on which ideas are growing in influence, and then determining how to respond. But social media is not just about media anymore. The way the customer service is delivered, the way sales and hiring prospects are evaluated, and the techniques for product development are all being transformed.
Clearly, some get this better than others. Starbucks and Zappo’s for example are fully engaging customers online and improving the products and service as a results. Starbucks has expanded it’s wifi service and added new breakfast foods to their menu, while Zappo’s employs a staff of customer service reps to monitor and track issues on Twitter.
More challenging is the need to scour the web to understand what customers are saying across multiple platforms. It’s fine to engage customers in one platform, such as Facebook, but finding customers where they hang out can be tough on the surface. In the most simple sense, RSS is the key to collecting this information, wheather it’s blog posts, forum comments, video mentions, or Tweets.