I really needed to think about the point I wanted to make with this one. In a previous post, I encouraged you to think that Social Media was all about building relationships. I think what got my head thinking on this was a conversation I had with Christopher Barger, director of social media at General Motors. The discussion we had, albeit brief, was eye opening and got my mind thinking about how you change the use of social media from a bull horn (just pushing out content) to a tool that builds relationships and engages with your consumers, fans, followers, etc.
What are you / we doing as a brand in the consumer market place that encourages discussion? The playing field has changed for GM on this. With a second chance (and I realize it’s not widely accepted that we were loaned money to survive) we now have an opportunity to radically change perceptions and leverage new technology and tools to get first hand feedback on what consumers are saying about us.
I guess we also need to prove that the investment in our company was worth it…which by the way, I believe it was.
So how do you do this? One example that I’m interested to see play out is the Pepsi Refresh Project. If you aren’t aware, Pepsi decided to forgo a Super Bowl commercial for the first time in 23 years. Instead, Pepsi will be spending $20 million on a social media campaign and allow consumers to submit ideas to Pepsi for ways to “refresh their communities,” making the world a better place. Consumers are participating and talking with Pepsi on their ideas. Will it work? I don’t know, but at least it’s something new. It’s something with a purpose. I like it.
What does this mean for me? Well…I’ve tried to connect and build relationships with people that can influence decisions at GM and provide ideas to them for consideration. I’ve learned on my own time how companies successfully use social media to positively impact their brands and I do this because this communication medium is a passion of mine. I also believe that everyone can play a role on how a brand communicates to its consumers…just be educated, transparent and honest. Listen. Learn. Relate.
I contend this is pretty simple strategy to making social media work for you. What do you think?