The 5W1H of Social Media – The What

I have this personal agenda to get the B2B community here to understand and use Social Media.

However, one of the biggest draw back is that such companies would rather wait for another company to take that leap before executing one of themselves.

I recently posted a Tweet how Social Media can be use to build relationships with your brand’s antagonists and got a status update on Facebook asking me for a quick 30 minutes on the 5W and 1H of Social Media.

Let me take a stab here.

So what is Social Media?

The essence of Social Media is derived from the meaning of SOCIAL which is “interaction”.

Blogs, Forums, Social Networking Sites,etc these are just the MEDIA.

So Social Media is all about interaction.

Previously, interaction between brand and customers only happens when the sale is made.

The brand will create a product or solution, market and sell them to the customer.

When the customer has parted his cash for the product and solution, it is an indication to the brand that they have hit the sweet spot in getting the customer to part with his cash.

If a refund or exchange is requested, this is communication to the brand that there are problems with the solution or product.

We have seen how the Internet has broke down the walls in many industries and have given the consumer the opportunity to direct one-on-one with the brand.

For example, consumers can start a blog posting their likes or dislike about the brand’s product or even what the improved features they would like to see in future products.

These bloggers’ intention might be to use their blog to communicate with the brand direct. The advent of Google , however, made it possible that, not only is the brand reading these comments, other consumers also have access to these comments.

This is where word-of-mouth marketing comes in. With the many brands out there selling the same product, how do one decide which brand to buy? When face with this dilemma, are you more likely to go to someone whom you think is an expert on this product to get an opinion on which brand to commit your cash?

This argument is also frequently used in why PR is better than advertising argument. Wouldn’t you, as a reader, believe what a journalist writes about the features and cool stuff of a product, than to see the same features and cool stuff appeared in a printed ad?

That’s why PR gives multipliers to ad-value equivalent  to an article when it appears in print.

Unfortunately, peer pressure for advertising money has created certain biasness in the article that steers in favour of the vendor.

I spoke to one marketing guy at an event that if a publication wrote and printed a bad review of his product, he will be very angry and threaten to pull out the ad budget. But if a blogger does it, he would be fine to accept criticism of the product.

Why the double standard?

The marketing guy replied saying that he is putting money into the publication not to get a bad review, but he has not committed any funds to the blogger, so that is fine.

Perception is reality so many consumers out them perceive that the article is always in favour of that brand because that brand advertise in it.

It is even difficult when every product reviewed gets 8 stars out of 10.

Hence, consumers flock to blogs to read the bloggers’ expert, perceived unbiase, views of the product.

Blogs have bloggers to interact with their readers via the comments field below each post.

It is this interaction that spur return to the blog especially when the blogger respond to the comment.

So if your brand is looking to start a social media campaign, the first question you have to ask is how much of the interaction are you willing to have with your existing customers, new ones and, not forgetting, your antagonists.

As you interact with your audience, you start to build that relationship with them.

The costs multiplies when you need to commit time to manage that relationship.

How much time are you willing to commit to manage and improve that relationship?


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