Scaling up with social media: luxury brands have a natural advantage.
Jeremiah Owyang recently did a presentation on how companies can scale up with social media technologies. Do read it. His starting observation is that customers (let alone prospects) will always outnumber a company's total workforce (let alone the ones formally responsible for customer relationships). Since social media puts companies in "direct" contact with a growing number of people, they are in danger of counter-productive social media initiatives leaving most customers or prospects frustrated for lack of response from the company to their queries/issues/concerns.
Jeremiah suggest 3 good strategic solutions to this problem:
- Using all the voices in your ecosystem (the Rings of Influence) not just being the only ones to talk.
- Develop more customer to customer technologies that leverage your customers to do your marketing, sales, and support.
- Invest in Social CRM systems, while immature now, they will eventually help companies respond in real time –and maybe even anticipate customer need.
Reading this, I realised it was confirming my position that luxury goods and services companies are the best suited for an effective social media strategy: their ratio "number of customers/number of employees" is by nature the lowest! So, they can realistically connect with a large number of customers by involving all their employees for instance. Luxury brands can be more in control of what is being said about them in the socialsphere than FMCG brands.