Are you being authentic?

Prasad Sangameshwaran | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on June 18, 2015

Choose rightWear a customer-centric hat

Golden rules that you should follow on social media

One of the things, Christian Behrendt, Executive Creative Director, Razorfish Australia, calls himself is a pop culture engineer. Having worked in the music industry in the late-1990s, Behrendt has first-hand experience of how rapid technology changes can affect an entire industry.

It was probably that experience which came in handy when he became part of the team that created Twelp Force for Best Buy.

This was an idea that reinvented the call centre through Twitter, where a team would answer tech queries 24X7 using Twitter as medium. He also was the co-founder of a social media based payment system, Pay With A Tweet.

So if one tries to provoke him with a question, “Are we overdoing the social media bit?” you can expect a candid answer.

He says, “If you are just looking at social media as another way to market and just diverting spends from traditional media to social media, then it could be the case. But that might be the wrong mindset.” According to him, if an advertiser is the kind to ask a question like that then they have already missed out on the opportunity to analyse what the brand is doing in the social media space with respect to engaging with the customer.

“Social media is a great option to connect with customers, but if your brand is not authentic and if customers do find that out it will backfire. Your strategy might have worked ten years ago, when brands were in control of the media and people might have believed you,” he says.

He adds, “A good social media engagement is like an over-the-counter conversation with your customer which has become even more simplified.”

Here, it’s not about donning a marketing hat or a sales hat, but a customer-centric hat.

But in this approach it’s also very important to be transparent so that you are not accused of violating the privacy of customers.

It is important right at the outset to share with customers on how the data they share with brands will be used by companies.

“In the long run, customers will be more aware of the value of the data they share,” he says.

If you use the data negatively, and people find out, the foundation of what your brand stands for can just be swept away.

According to him, another key is to identify what values a brand is bringing to the table during its relationship with the customer. “Values, relevance and authenticity should be the key words and it’s not about what social media vehicle to use,” he says.

What is the work that he admires? Behrendt says that there is great work happening for Uniqlo, the Japanese casual wear brand that’s creating great content for fashionistas, where product benefits are mentioned in a very storytelling fashion.

He also claims to be impressed with a lot of inspirational work on Kickstarter, the crowdfunding site – where he recently saw a bike on one wheel that balances itself so well.

Social media managers must be more than familiar with this balancing act.

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Published on June 18, 2015
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