Thursday, 5 September 2013

Who’s the most powerful figure in social media? YOU ARE!



Earlier this week, MediaGuardian 100, ‘a snapshot of media power today’ broke with tradition to list ‘you’ as the most powerful media figure - highlighting the growing power of the digital consumer.

This year’s choice reflects the extent to which the individual has become empowered in the online age, and it got us thinking in the fatBuzz office - which, we imagine, was exactly as MediaGuardian intended.

Just how empowered are consumers online? And how can businesses benefit from this new-found power?

The MediaGuardian 100 chose two particular elements to encapsulate the power of the people; the fact that ‘everyone can be a broadcaster-publisher in the digital era’ and the fact that the digital economy in the UK is driven by consumers. ‘Both as the audience and creators of content, it's all about people power' the judges explain.

‘People power’ is not exactly a new phenomenon. In fact, the very premise of people power has been an important part of business and marketing for generations.

However, we must agree with the MediaGuardian. You (yes, you) are becoming increasingly powerful - and you are increasingly using social media to wield that power.

You have orchestrated revolutions. You have influenced election campaigns. And now more than ever, you are flexing your virtual muscles and using social media to complain, demand change, and where possible, influence business attitudes.

In fact, a recent survey by NewVoiceMedia found that a third of consumers will use channels including Twitter and Facebook to complain about poor customer service.

And as some of us marketing-type folks will be aware - a social voice (especially aggrieved voices with a bone to pick) can be very loud.

So, how can businesses and marketers embrace ‘people power’? How can we benefit from ‘you’ - the most powerful media figure in the world?

Find social influencers
Spend some time finding the people in your industry with real influence. The people who not only have lots of followers, but who create real engagement. If you engage with them, they can become your biggest brand ambassadors.

Brand ambassadors
Encourage your community to promote your brand or organisation to others, and become your biggest brand advocates. Remember, our consumers and customers are becoming increasingly influential.

Exemplary Customer Service
Handle customer service successfully and publicly. You’ll not only build brand loyalty, but also turn your harshest critics into your most vocal supporters.

Create content of interest to your community
We’ve said it a million times, but it’s no less important now than when we first said it. Write content that your community will find interesting; content which they will want to share with their community.

Monitor, Monitor, Monitor
Use platforms such as Hootsuite and TweetDeck to monitor mentions of your brand, and use search terms to find potential discussions and enquiries.

If you are looking for answers, assistance, or opinions, who better to ask than your community? This can not only benefit your business, but also cement the relationship between you and your customer.

What are your thoughts on MediaGuardian's choice of the digital consumer as the most powerful figure in the media?

And do you have any other ways in which businesses and marketers can benefit from these newly empowered consumers?

Let us know by commenting on this blog, or by getting in touch on Facebook or Twitter

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