Social ‘Me’dia: The Power Shift

Recently I made the decision to deactivate my personal Facebook page. My reasons for doing so were many and varied, but one specifically seems to be relevant to my blog topic this week – Social Media Marketing.  On a personal note, I have noticed an increasing amount of selling on Facebook and other social media, such as independent contractors for the various direct sales businesses, advertisements, and just simple branding done by well-known companies or celebrities. For this reason, I consider Social Media Marketing to be one of the most impactful drivers of change in the business world – and one of those businesses is Rodan + Fields.

Social Media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn represent huge opportunities for businesses to engage existing customers and entice new ones, while simultaneously building a huge online brand presence. In a sense, communication and connection is a simple click away. For this reason, it‘s no surprise that the topic of business discussions around the world has become centered on Social Media and its importance for the optimal customer experience.

Rodan + Fields, realizing the impact of social media and word of mouth decided to turn to “community commerce,” a term coined by the doctors who developed the product line. Consultants for Rodan + Fields often leverage social media followings to praise their products and open the doors for new sales.  Also, Rodan + Fields helps their consultants with social media postings by providing template, trainings, etc for them to utilize.  Most have been used and found to be great at motivating potential customers.  The combination is very prevalent on Social Media and ultimately, successful.

It’s not a secret that word of mouth has been one of the biggest influences for consumers, but the definition of which was completely different prior to Social Media. Recommendations were often passed on from family, friends or other trusted individuals by literally having a conversation. Today, consumers want the uninhibited reviews and recommendations that come from the “mouth” of Social Media. Never before has it been so easy for a customer to research a product and the business that makes it so thoroughly, and additionally, influence many, many other potential customers.

For the less digitally integrated organization, this amount of consumer-influence could be intimidating, because negative reviews can have an adverse effect on their brand. But for DIOs like Rodan + Fields, it is an opportunity to turn the experience into a positive one by taking care of the customer in another, more personal way…you know, the digital version of the old-tried-and-true customer service. A concept that many business are now adopting.

Not only has Social Media helped maintain a more engaged business to customer relationship, it has also empowered the customer to mandate a certain level of service, responsibility and transparency from the business they patron. Negative reviews online are bad for business – I mean, who hasn’t checked TripAdvisor before trying a new business or restaurant? One way Rodan + Fields has combatted negative reviews is as Megan Celba Thomas, a Rodan + Fields consultant says the company has “an incredible guarantee that enabled me to try the products and business for 60 days and if there wasn’t a fit, I could return.”  Again, giving the customer, and consultant alike, control over their purchases.

Businesses once held most of the power of influence over its customers, but Social Media has changed the game. Never before have customers had so much control over their own shopping experiences – thank you technology.

 

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