Social customer is a new type of consumer (rather I call, “mutant”) that comes after the two revolutions: (1) the consumer revolution of the middle class, yes Consumer 3000. (2) the social media revolution Consumers currently has two characteristics and two guns. The first feature they knowledgeable: deep know any information about the products and services be bought (thanks to grandma Google). The second feature they are connected (socially connected) to other consumers is intense (thanks to social media). The combination of smart consumers who are connected with each other and produce a very powerful figure of the consumer and respected (read: feared) by each brand.
Social customer also has two ultimate weapon. The first ultimate weapon is the communities they form both offline and online (on Facebook, on Twitter, on blogs, on Instagram, in online forums such as Kaskus, in BBM Group, in the gathering-gathering, etc.).
The second is the ultimate weapon of social media tools (mentions and retweets on Twitter, status updates and wall on Facebook, article posting and comments on blogs, upload videos on YouTube, etc.) that allow them to spread the good news and the bad about the brand to other consumers (yes , 3F: followers, friends, fans).
Why do I say guns? Yes, because the two things that allow new consumers have tremendous bargaining power in dealing with a strong brand. Two weapons that allow brand can no longer lie arbitrarily, can no longer over promise under deliver, and can not form an image of the original. The weapon they use to force the brand a player is honest, wise, and wise.
With the weapons community and social media tools, social customer opinions so easy to build and then deploy it to other consumers opinions massively in an instant. If his opinion is good then of course it was a blessing for the brand. But otherwise if his opinion ugly then it is disastrous for the brand. In essence, the two guns were brand can no longer arbitrarily suppress consumer.
In my book Crowd: Marketing Becomes Horizontal (2008), I formulate these two powerful weapons in a simple formula E = WmC2.E marketing is an incredible energy. Wm is word of mouth or word of mouth promotion, while C2 is a community of both offline and online. Through this formula, the point I want to say that the tremendous energy will arise if consumers equipped with two “ultimate weapon”, the community and the tools that enable them to spread the word of mouth.
Now, a social media presence allows the formula is realized. In effect, the consumer now has the power extraordinary and unprecedented. Let easy, I’ll take an actual case that Fang Tong Clinic suitable to describe her so powerful is social customer. Let’s see.
I see a bad case of mouth (word of mouth grudges negative) Fang Tong Clinic is a form of social indignation customers to practice vertical promotion (promotion which is controlled by the regime of vertical media such as TV, radio, or newspaper) that is not authentic and is loaded with aromas of engineering . Why not authentic and full engineering?
Because the talent in the ad not disclose testimony based on experience (past experience) use the services of the clinic, but based on the script that has been structured in such a beautiful and neat (read: engineered) by the copywriter.
Engineering is thus invisible to the eye, when the script contrived monotonous and uniform for different talent. Operating mode with engineering testimony ads like this are common in our advertising over the years, because it allows the vertical media regime. Unfortunately, the consumer could not do anything because they have no channel to “fight” it. When social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or blogs available, they now also have a channel to break it.
The ads are not authentic and full engineering sparked revulsion among social customers. Disgust they accumulate, peaking, and then poured in the form of “punishment”. In the case of Fang Tong Clinic, the punishment is manifested in the form of negative sentiment to the brand. Negative sentiment expressed in the form of a light joke is then blown through community and social media tools in Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or blogs.
As I mentioned before, the formula E = WmC2 works so perfectly and the size of the second bad mouth the Clinic Tong Fang spread like the cholera outbreak. Initially negative sentiment incubated in online communities and then spread through social media tools (tweet, retweet, mention on Twitter; status updates and wall posts on Facebook; article post on the blog, etc..) Quickly.
There are two important lessons from the case of bad mouth Tong Fang Clinic. First, that the social customer is now able to easily angry when a brand does something that is not pleasing to them.
Secondly, that they now have the ultimate weapon to “punish” any applicable brand dishonest and unfair to them. Remember one thing: Fan Tong Clinic cases are tips of the iceberg of the “rage” against the practice of social promotion of vertical customers who are not authentic and full of engineering.
I foresee in the future similar cases will occur more often and with a scope and a much larger size. Now is the time to be careful to vertical promotion..