Social Media: How has the role of the professional communicator changed?

How to not sell something to my generation.

The role of the professional communicator has changed since the days of Mad Men in the 1960s. With about 80% of Americans who have access to the Internet, people have the resources to know as much if not more than the salesperson trying to sell us something. The consumer can figure out competitive prices and does not need a salesperson to try to deceit them with giving ‘deals.’ Our generation wants companies to be transparent with its products and sincere, helpful, and knowledgeable with what they are trying to sell. Back in the day before the Internet, people had to rely on the messages of the salesperson because they did not have the resources to know any better.

Twitter and Facebook have allowed followers to create a connection with companies through two-way communication. Followers become more aware of the functions of the company and learn valued content about products, deals, etc. Many companies use Twitter and Facebook accounts to post the following:

  • post company news/updates
  • offer customer service
  • offer deals
  • job information

People are motivated to become followers for the following reasons:

  • to receive discounts and promotions 31%
  • to get a “freebie” 28%
  • to get updates on future products 38%
  • to get updates on upcoming sales 30%
  • to stay informed about the activities of the company 32%
  • for fun and entertainment 26%
  • to show support for the company to others 23%
  • to learn about the company’s products and services 25%
  • to get access to exclusive content 25%
  • someone recommended it to me 14%
  • for education about company topics 14%
  • to interact (e.g. provide feedback) 20%

How to be successful on Twitter: Tips/Lessons

  • Have fun with followers (don’t take yourself too seriously- accelerate positive comments and embrace (and address) negative ones
  • Use contests and offers to drive excitement about your brand
  • Join Twitter chats using hashtags—consider starting and hosting your own chats on a regular basis
  • SEO – Google and Bing recently announced their search algorithms take into account the clout or reach of the social media profile that posts links to your website.  By building up your Twitter account with thousands of followers your tweets will help improve your website’s ranking.
  • Drive traffic to your website, blogs, Facebook
  • deliver insider information, respond directly to Tweets, provide access to personalities behind your brand
  • channel highlight: personal connection with influential consumers
  • key to success: provide insider access to fuel content creation

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