My last post on this topic was to bring to you some of the astounding statistics around social networking. Hope it did surprise you to some extent. Lets delve a little more into the world of socialonomics (I didn’t coin the word). Some of the important things to note are:
- how human beings get influenced in terms of their buying decisions, and
- what retailers are doing about it.
Of course, all this in relation to social networking.
Gartner says that blogging has reached its plateau of productivity. I think not. Personal, and let-me-tell-my-story type of blogging might have, but otherwise blogging remains and will be as vibrant as it always was. It surely has changed form and shape, and purpose. Corporate blogging is getting more and more prominent, whether it is inside the enterprise or meant for external folk (as in vendors and customers). Blogs also contain shorter posts these days than earlier – something akin to Twits. But, it might not always be possible to convey an idea or a sales message in the limited text that you can tap into Twitter.
Check out on facebook, the number of retailers who have created groups or fanclubs. I am a Johnston Murphy fan and am on their page. So, JM sends out new product launch updates, news about trial runs (which I, as a customer, could participate in) and get significant discounts. JM is not the only retailer that does this. This brings in the second important point – whether people believe in advertising or word of mouth. Certainly the latter, and a fan club where everyone is essentially patting the Retailer on the back works wonders. Many retailers have yet to figure how to get into the social networking bandwagon. The way social networks have expanded, and for the power they hold Retailers better get on for the ride if they want to grow and reach out to many of their customers who they never manage to touch otherwise.
Having said that, there are other people who retail (maybe through distribution channels as well) and pick up a social cause and make a mess out of it. Aircel (telco) in India launched its ‘save the tiger’ program mentioning the 1411 of the tigers that are still left in the country. Besides advertising on television, on the web and on facebook, they have made no apparent contribution to the cause besides asking people to be aware. This could only lead to dwindling of credibility for just toying so expediently with a social and important cause.