The swift rise of new communication channels such as Facebook and Twitter have caused many executives to reassess how they stay in touch with their customers, with employees and, increasingly, with the media itself, including the entrepreneurial king himself, Richard Branson.
Take a look at some of the key points (verbatim) the Virgin Group founder made in one of his opinion columns for Canadian Business:
• The website, Facebook page, blog and Twitter feed are no longer add-ons to a business’s communication budget: they should be central to its marketing strategy, and used in coordination with other marketing efforts.
• People no longer want to be sold to; they want companies to help them find an informed way to buy a product or service at the right price.
o They still watch ads, but often online rather than on TV, and they’re much more likely to view ads that friends have recommended.
o When something goes wrong with a product, they want to be able to reach the company instantly, and they expect quick solutions.
• Look at every contact as an opportunity to build stronger relationships with your customers.
• You may need to consider that the old divisions between advertising, marketing and public relations have broken down, so it’s time to review how your marketing team works.
• In closing, Branson commented: “To succeed, entrepreneurs and business leaders must look at this rapidly changing world through a different lens.” I couldn’t agree more.
Virgin Atlantic actually recently created a Social Relations team to manage the combined media space and to make sure their sites and communications are current and interesting, while maintaining that Virgin brand flair. What are you doing to ensure you stay in the game?
I spoke at the recent Buildex conference in Vancouver, and one of the things that struck me most was how many people are still hesitant to engage in the online world from a business perspective.
But these days, it simply is a must. Richard Branson seems to think so, too.