I once worked for a technology company that brought an aging wireless broadband network in the semi-remote area on the Queensland – New South Wales border.
Customers did not have access to copper internet services. The service provided a line-of-site wireless solution to homes and businesses It was the early days when 2G internet was only available in the cities.
The hardware was failing, and the new owner fixed the issues as fast as the budget would allow. They set up communication channels through community boards like whirlpool.net.au as the customers had felt a little ghosted by the previous management.
There was criticism. The network was the only alternative, but upgrades were expensive. The customer base was small, and the budget was tight. The “line-of-sight service” was hard to maintain. Construction and treelines often got in the way, but the new buyers were determined to succeed.
I was the Marketing Manager and monitored the feedback through the community boards. The criticism came in fast and thick from customers frustrated with the speed and consistency. Others in the tribe were optimistic; after all, what alternatives were there?
It was hard to take the criticism. We knew the problems and jumped in to provide solutions.
As some customers experienced improvement, they jumped to our defence. Satisfied customers came to the defence of the new owners. Some even posted thank you posts.
It was hard not to become defensive at times, but sitting back and watching the optimistic members of this community come to our defences was satisfying. Often, they gave us the words to soothe the frustration of the customers who had yet to see the improvement.
Customers became advocates
Facebook and Twitter, the term “social media” had not been yet, but it shaped how I would use community engagement in my marketing.
We use social media for our customers to build strong communities around their products and services These communities teach, support, and advocate for us. They provide the stories behind the brand and build trust with our market.
I’ve been marketing brands for over thirty years, and there is nothing more powerful than a follower endorsing your services and selling your products. They dont always have to be customers, they are anyone who has had a positive experience with your brand.
You probably have some loyal followers that would love to be telling someone about how good your brand is. Let’s chat about how we can inspire and resource those followers to spread your message.