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Wikibrands - A Must-Read for the Social Media Professional#SMCBooks

 

Some companies are frustrating to deal with, no two ways about it. At no time is it more frustrating when you are a plugged in social media professional. To see companies dealing with problems in ways that are slow, outdated, and maddening for the consumer makes one stop and wonder about the overall health of the organzization. Too often, I find myself saying "They just don't get it." But get what? Twitter? No, it's bigger than that. Facebook feedback? That's a part of it, but not the whole picture. 

 

Welcome to the whole picture: "Wikibrands – How to Compete in a Customer-Controlled Marketplace" is a blurprint that companies need to follow to be relevant and engaging in a world that is placing more and more emphasis on the ability of the customer to set the retail experience.

 

This book came into sharp relief the other day when I was dealing with Target. I was having a dispute over a pricing error on a TV. I had taken pictures of the price issue and posted them to twitter, tried to engage Target on Twitter and Facebook, even tried to deal with their customer relations call center. All to no avail. Twitter is not an account that wants to help customer's solve problems, FaceBook seems to be only for giveaways and sale information, and the call center was an offshore outfit where the langauage barrier stopped any meaningful interaction. What a missed opportunity for Target! 

 

As I was navigating this labryinth of customer 'care' I kept coming back again and again to the Wikibrands book, and their main point; the customer is in control, and the old ways of marketing are ineffective. I found myself nodding my head in approval at many points in this book, espically in Part Four where the authors delve into community development and management. Customers are your community, treat them with trust. In the age of Wikibrands customers, for better or worse, will set the tone of your brand. What kind of reputation your brand has depneds not on your marketing but on your enagagment.

 

Wikibrands is a must read for any social media professional, whether you are the brand or you lead social media for a Fortune 500 company. It will become your new instructional manual. And if you work at Target, buy this for your PR team.

 

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