Reaching Gen Y

At Customer Experience Matters, they recently discussed how to get Gen Y’s attention online. They focus the importance of immediacy, and how online websites need to reflect the the most current information available to keep their attention.

They provided three strategies:

  1. Refresh and update content constantly. Changing content frequently and updating feature page elements on a regular basis give users a reason to return over time.
  2. Expose value immediately. Delivering clear calls to action and interactive cues help draw young visitors into experiences right away.
  3. Provide frequent feedback. Presenting notifications, rewards, and other feedback to users throughout an experience keeps them alert and engaged.

What other strategies would you suggest?

Could your community already be out there?

The answer is yes. In a recent article by John Bishop, he looks at how you can find the customers that are already on the web talking about your product. Find out where they are. Use Facebook them down to specific locations and interests, the follow their chatter and monitor the buzz in the industry and react to it. Join the conversation when they start talking about your brand, and even create a few threads that promote a conversation around it.

What type of research can you get from social networks?

David C. Skul has a great video up about how to use the data you get from your social networks as research. You can ask those in your targeted group for their opinions, collect data through polls, you can see the exact demographics that your targeting (as they are in your group) and it’s a way to get traffic to your site.

Watch the video here:

Keeping your customers in tough economic times

Over at CustomerThink, they recently wrote a great post about what you should do in these tough economic times to retain your customers. As you’ll see budget cuts to the sources that bring in your customers – like marketing and advertising – it’s critical to keep the customers you currently have. Took keep them through these difficult times, you must keep your customer service quality high and give them no excuse to switch to a competitor.

What can you cook up?

Beth Dunn recently wrote about the importance of social media in the hard financial times that are upon us. However, she looks at it implementing a social media plan as something that’s easy to do, and you may already have some know-how on your team at the workplace. Someone may already know how to engage the right audience through Twitter, and another may have great writing skills for a blog. With just a little time and effort, you could jump into the world of social media and start connecting with your target market. Read more here.

Where are blogs going?

What is the future of blogs? Jamshed Wadia recently explained in depth why blogs are hear to stay, because not only do they provide a face for a brand and an outlet for expressions, but they’re a key part to any social media strategy.

He listed several reasons why he believes they’re here to stay:

1. Personal expression
2. Stories not covered or ignored by mainstream media
3. Show case personal talent
4. Building Personal brands
5. Social Causes and non profit Fund Raising
6. Evangelistic blogs
7. Keeping in touch with customers

For a more in depth look at why he sees these as important factors, read here.

Passionate customers deserve a passionate brand

Matt Rhodes took some time to examine the relationship between brands and their loyal customers. He points out that often times, the customers are more passionate about the brand than than the brand is about them. The brand needs to find a two-way street to start recognizing these loyal customers, who can often be a solid source for word of mouth marketing. Opening up and using social media can be a great way to do this. It can open up communication, and let you show your customers you appreciate them.

Social media diary 21/11/2008 – Sydney

Sydney uses MySpace to attract visitors

This week saw the launch of MySpace MySydney, a community for people who want to move to Sydney on a working visa. The page pitches itself as an online community and ‘Ben’ is your host (he’s the one on the video on the homepage). The site contains information on how to get a visa, travel information, advice on Sydney as a place to live and work and also aims to be a hub for networking with others in the same situation as you.
The site is from the Tourism New South Wales who are hoping to capitalise upon recent changes in the work and holiday visa regulations for US students. It’s now easier than it was for those from North America to get these visas and this MySpace site supports a wider marketing and social media push accompanying the change.

So what can we learn from this?

We’ve covered a lot of travel initiatives recently in the Social Media Diary – from BA’s Metrotwin, to Amex’s community for travel managers and Air France-KLM’s Bluenity. Travel is certainly an area where social networking and online communities are being used more and more to engage people. We see this at FreshNetworks, where the latest community we helped to launch this week is for a big UK travel brand. Travel has a number of great hooks for activities in social media – some people need information and have questions that other users can answer based on their experiences, it’s a subject that lends itself well to media and there is the opportunity for connecting people doing similar things in similar places. We’re seeing different travel brands trying different things – from setting up their own online communities, to interacting with people on Facebook or MySpace, providing social networking tools or just blogging.
Some of these initiatives are successful and some aren’t. What it seems that Sydney hope to achieve with this site is to present a lot of genuinely useful information in a way that is relevant to their target audience. They also hope to leverage some social networking – getting people in similar situations to get together, meet each other, share ideas and thoughts and between them build the usefulness of the site. This is an interesting proposition and I’ll be following how it pans out. Whilst I can see the clear benefit of the marketing and informational element of the site, I’ll be watching to see how (and in fact if) the social networking side of the proposition develops.
Whilst we often say that it is difficult for a brand to get a real presence in a social network, there is a real power of social networks to help people find others going through the same situation or with similar interests to them. It may be that getting people considering a move to Sydney to meet each other in MySpace might just work. We’ll wait and see.
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