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3 Ways Social Media Has Changed Business/Customer Relations

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by Emma Sturgis
May 12, 2017

Emma Sturgis

Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. Emma recommends Vasayo as an example of online business communication. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2

Emma Sturgis has written 22 articles for PromotionWorld.
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Social media has played a profound role in the way that we relay information to our friends, colleagues and figures who we admire around the world. For companies, it has changed the way that they interact with their customers. In some ways, it has allowed customers a greater voice and a means to influence the narrative that a company presents to the public.

Customers Can Band Together When They're Angry

In the past, a customer would need to write a letter or make a phone call if they wanted to complain about poor service or poor product selection. While that may have allowed that individual to voice his or her concerns, the company could write it off as an isolated incident that may not have a negative impact on its bottom line.

However, with social media, hundreds or thousands of people can voice their complaints at once. Furthermore, it gives them the ability to share the reason for their discontent with friends or other social contacts. With so much attention paid to what happens on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms, companies are now having to take the conversation to social media. This means more direct communication with the customer, and that the business will need to stay on top of what is being said about the company.

Companies Can Alert Their Customers In A Timely Manner

While social media can be used as a tool for customers to express their frustration, it can also be used as a tool for companies to avoid a major backlash. If an eCommerce site is down, a business can send out a tweet apologizing for the inconvenience and letting people know when it may be back online.

A company may also be able to send out recall notices to thousands or millions of people at once, which may prevent a dangerous product from hurting or killing someone. If a business does issue a recall, customers can use social media to confirm whether their product was part of it as well as talk to someone about how they can get a refund or other forms of relief.

Customers Become Brand Ambassadors

In the past, businesses would create advertisements featuring their products or services in a way that was best suited to their needs. Today, customers are more likely to trust a review of a product or service created by a friend or other trusted contact. What this means is that brands need to reach out to their consumers to provide testimonials that can be posted on various web properties.

In many ways, these testimonials are what companies use as advertisements. It has become a trend for brands to allow members of the community to send pictures or upload videos that are used for promotional purposes. In some cases, customers are given the opportunity to take over an Instagram or Facebook account for a day to create content from their point of view.

Some brands have resorted to creating videos of people wearing the brand's clothing line or demonstrating how a product can be useful in their own lives. When people see their friends, relatives or colleagues using a product or service, it makes a bigger impact than watching an employee perform a demonstration in controlled conditions.

Social media has drastically changed the way that brands and consumers interact with each other. It has given consumers power to influence the marketing message in ways that keep brands honest no matter how large or small that they may be.


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