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Better online brand engagement

Matthew Rogerson writes: Social media is the evolution of customer service, not a revolution in advertising.

Social media is the evolution of customer service, not a revolution in advertising. As an extension of the shop floor, and not advertising campaigns, the best way to increase online engagement is to stop selling, and to start helping, advising, and entertaining.

Companies are alienating their customers by using social media as a revolutionary way of repackaging the sales messages of traditional media. However, social media offers a platform for what information people receive, helping them ignore unwanted sales pitches. In practice, social media actually offers an evolution of customer service, as the conversations customers had with sales representatives shift from the shop floor to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Brands need to give control of their social media accounts to their customer care team, and not their PR agency. Brands on social media must focus on service and not on sales.

Content advertising on social media has become increasingly popular, as companies look to achieve greater engagement with consumers. But the growth of content advertising points to a much needed shift in the use of social media: away from a broadcast medium, and towards a closer recreation of what happens on the shop floor. Truly engaging with consumers and B2B clients online means providing more tangible benefits, and more that just a sales pitch. Advertising on social media in its current form can focus on the wrong metrics, painting a false picture of success and engagement; the number of Facebook likes a brand has or the number of people who view a post or advert does not truly reflect success.

Furthermore, focusing solely on these metrics can lead to brands missing opportunities to target other demographics. Looking at service metrics such as overall satisfaction ratings, speed of response, and the percentage of closed-cases gives a deeper understanding of the importance of how social media can be used to drive sales.

Retailers: Must ensure customer care teams are responsible for social media strategy, not sales teams.
Manufacturers: Manufacturers should focus less on selling and more on developing useful, informative and entertaining content.
Suppliers: Need to establish a social media presence highlighting their expertise.

This month we have previews for Emballage,Pack Expo and Luxe Pack as well as features on adhesives and label application and our lead article on beverage bottle packaging. I hope you enjoy it, and welcome any feedback.

Matthew Rogerson
Chief Editor