To conclude this weeks discussion on Industrial Finishes (IF) and Territorial Seed Co. (TSCO), I’m going to briefly talk about how each one is generating dialog and creating interaction among their respective target markets.
In some basic research of my own, an article titled 6 Ways Brands Build Trust Through Social Media, written by Brent Gleeson and listed on Forbes.com, I found some great advice as to how companies should be using social media. This advice is particularly useful when looking at IF and TSCO. Gleeson states “Trust is the most crucial element of social media.” Essentially, when a company creates dialog and interacts with their customers, they open themselves up for conversations to happen, and for trust to be created. Gleeson lists six ways in which brands can begin to trust through social media:
Communicate Thought Leadership
Quick & Responsive Customer Communication
Fun & Simple Engagement
When scouring through all the bits of social media being posted by both companies, I’ve been able to gather an even better idea as to how they are keeping actively engaged with their customers, and how each one is getting their customers’ to interact back.
The act of being actively engaged does not seem to be a hot topic at IF. When I first began researching the company, I only knew small bits about the overall marketing strategy. As I get further along with my research, and get to know the inner workings of the company a little better, I realize that the reason why their social media presence is lagging, is because they are extremely busy with printed media and promotions, as well as big events that include kiosks and trade show booths. These events keep their current marketing department tached out and not as actively engaged with their target markets as they might like to be. However, this does not mean they are not completely out of touch either.
Facebook and YouTube, as mentioned in previous blogs, are the main platforms they use. They are able to generate both dialog and interaction on Facebook by posting the latest car show poster that they are hosting/attending, partnership events they are hosting, as well as, posting day-to-day events in and around their headquarters.
IF is very big on promoting their partnerships with other companies, and showing their gratitude towards customers. They’ve posted customer projects, industry events, and obviously the many car shows they’ve attended. In return, they sometimes get customer comments, which is a bit of a disconnect if you think about it. With only 350 Likes for the page, it’s to be expected for a lower number of responses, but at the same time, with little content being thrown out onto social media, the less likely people are going to become engaged.
I would add though, that following the advice of the six ways brands can build trust, IF is getting it done the right way. Though they have yet to directly connect their social media platforms to their actual website by means of a call to action, I would say they demonstrate all six just by observing their website. This to me builds a sense of trust automatically. They have a proven track record of a successful business, and are transparent in all their ways. They acknowledge their customers and clients, and I believe that they would without a doubt hold themselves accountable if they needed to. Their website offers vital information as to who they are, what they do, and how they do it. They also provide a section that is dedicated to the glory of God, and they are extremely open in their faith and announce what He has done for them. So what they lack in social media, they make up on their website.
Territorial Seed Co.
Again, TSCO is on top of their game when it comes to social media and engaging/interacting with their customers. They are constantly seeking input from their customers, mainly by posting and contributing an abundance of great content to their own social media platforms, that their vast amount of customers are bound to post comments or their own pictures. Once a customer has posted, they are quick to respond with their own comment. This lets that particular customer know that TSCO believes he or she is important to them. The simple act creates the dialog needed to interact, and keep actively engaged with all of their customers.
I’ve mentioned previously that their call to action is not always to have a customer buy something, but rather to go to their website so that they can sign up for their newsletter, order a free seed catalog, or browse through the amazing plants they have to offer. Their call to action often times is the very act of wanting comments and opinions from their customers. The connection that they have with their customers is shown by the amount of likes, shares, and of course comments they receive on every post they send out.
Again, if following the 6 ways to build trust, TSCO, is actively pursuing and achieving the six ways with ease. They win hands down with communicating thought leadership, being transparent, responding quickly to customer communication, ensuring accountability of their products, keeping their posts fun, simple, and engaging, and promoting social responsibility. Their brand awareness strategy is fantastic!