Archive for November 2010
Creating Loyal Followers
The Golden Rule of “do unto others, as you would have them do unto you,” would apply well when using new media to create a loyal follower. According to a new study put forth by Cone, in the Cone Consumer Media Study (November 2010), consumers are getting more comfortable turning to social media to feel an exclusive connection to the company. Yet, businesses need to consider new ways to incentivize followers, rather than just a coupon, free product, or trial promotion over time.
Initially people could be attracted to your offer located through social networks (48%), mobile devices (20%), message boards (20%), blogs (13%), or online games (12%).
Over time content needs to be relevant news feeds, tweets, and emails should not be filled with too much information. Add actual comments from contributors for people to stay connected with your brand.
It’s difficult to grab one’s attention at first but be prepared once you have captured the audience to treat them well with respect. Cone’s report states that 59% of new media users were satisfied with their online experiences with companies. Yet, another 58% of users stated they will stop following a company if it acts irresponsibly towards its community.
Is The Focus About Success in Numbers?
A quality, highly engaged audience will reward those companies and spread the word about your brand. People that enjoy following, or like a specific business would turn to social networks (62%) to seek out information or promote it. In this case, they felt a stronger connection to the company (61%), better served (60%), and continue to make purchases (59%).
Cone’s director of new media, Mike Hollywood, uses a great analogy to describe ways in which companies can lure their audience using new media. “Attracting new media followers is like starting a fire – coupons are your gasoline, and engaging content are the logs that keep the fire burning. Consumers’ affinity can only tolerate five brands, so companies need to think beyond the coupon or clever widget to figure out how to develop long-term relationships with real staying power. The best new media strategies are those that balance relevant content with timely promotions and ongoing company-consumer dialogue.”
Walgreen’s Pharmacy: In Your Neighborhood, On the Web, or In Your Hand
The Senior VP of e-Commerce for Walgreens, Sona Chawla, uses new forms of media to reach customers and offer solutions. Some examples include a video showcasing a pharmacist on the Dr. Oz show administrating a flu shot, or creating a SaturDate promotion for the beauty needs of others that are getting ready for an important night on the town. It’s a great avenue to also provide multiple channels for the customers to learn more about health, wellness, e-Commerce, video, mobile, social media, and email to connect better with consumers. HealthCornerTv, mobile apps to test the status of a refill prescription, a text message sent to your phone to alert your prescription is ready, or uploading your photos from your phone to be developed at your local Walgreens store. By creating a conducive environment that uses different mediums to have customers provide feedback helps to institute change and conduct a new line of business for the pharmacy. It’s about creating more loyal customers that find value and convenience in the way you bring the different products and services to them. “We’re excited and it’s really offering the customers a drug store in the palm of your hand,” states Chawla in a recent interview in Internet Retailer magazine (November 2010).