As the holidays quickly approach and we wrap up 2014, the predictions for the upcoming year are starting to roll in at a rapid pace. An article that I recently read by Avi Dan, Forbes contributor, lists the 11 marketing trends to watch for in 2015. What struck me most on this list was the very first bullet point: Transparency will become the most important tool of marketing.
The idea of transparency in marketing and communications is nothing new, but the designation of most important tool carries significant weight! As Dan notes, it’s true that consumers have more power and influence than ever before due to the large, evolving role that social media now plays in our daily lives.
Social media allows consumers to elevate or bash a brand in a matter of seconds, and in as little as 140 characters (the limit for a tweet) from anywhere. But on the same note, customers expect brands and businesses to uphold a social media presence and share their stories. Gone are the days of canned PR narrations of the good things for which your brand stands. Customers now demand brands to post “accurate and real time pictures of what they are doing in the interest of the consumer, at any given time.” They want to see it and feel like they are a part of it.
What does this mean for retailers on social media? Something very simple: share photos and stories of your everyday lives. Think of your Facebook page, Twitter account or Instagram profile as a scrapbook of your store. Share fun images of employees demonstrating products or taste tests, a unique product display in your store, or a community event that you’re sponsoring.
But being transparent also means addressing harder customer services issues. If a customer is unhappy about a purchase and comments on your Facebook page about it, don’t hide it. Acknowledge the issue and let the customer know how you are going to fix it, just like you would do if you were dealing with that customer in person inside your store.
Being authentic and transparent is fun! Embrace it and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Our Digital Marketing Specialists in the Customer Connect Center are here to help you connect the dots.