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And the viral nature of social media works both ways – negative comments can be circulated among the masses just as quickly as positive comments.Therefore, companies that engage consumers via social media need to have personnel and processes set up to quickly respond to any negative feedback.
Done well, social media can increase consumer engagement, add value beyond a traditional transaction and deepen the brand/customer relationships.
In addition to posting pictures of ships and destinations (company-generated content), Carnival Cruise Lines allows guests to post their own vacation photos (user-generated content).
Using social media to build loyalty is not without its risks as well. User-generated content is outside the control of the company.
A solution may be a product or service for which they pay, but it can also be new financing options, new payment terms, expedited shipping, informational content or any number of non-product solutions that meet a need. Companies that truly understand their customers know how to build an emotional connection through targeted communications.
For example, a newsletter from a theme park to a retired couple can highlight the wonderful family memories that can be created at the park when family comes to visit.
What I mean by that is loyalty marketers, more often than not, focus on the transactional element to a loyalty program.