Conversational Marketing in the Age of Social Media
I’ve been wondering lately about the concept of integrated social media strategies for businesses.
There’s no mistaking it but some social media will work better for certain types of businesses and industries than others. Some will excel with the use of videos, and some with the written word. Some will adopt the use of multiple social media— running the gamut of blogs, twitter, linkedin, youtube, and facebook.
So here’s the question which has been plaguing me for a while: Who’s doing it well? I mean, who’s doing a good job tying them all together, cross-linking and integrating them into a full user experience.
I became even more curious yesterday after reading a post, Which Twitter Strategy is Right for You, by Rodger Johnson. The post describes the twitter strategies of six companies you may have already heard about: JetBlue, Rubbermaid, Dunkin’ Donuts, Dell, Zappos, and Comcast. So, with these key twitter players in mind, I thought I’d do a little experiment, and see whose doing what and how well are they linking all their profiles and web sites together e.g. how would a user know about all the profiles these companies have?
Let me show you by example what I mean:
1. JetBlue’s page has 1,397,089 followers, and they link to their corporate web site. Unless I’ve missed something there is no link from the website to Twitter. Now, if I wasn’t curious as to whether they had a facebook page and googled it, I wouldn’t have known about their page with 57,369 fans, (facebook by the way, links to their website, two twitter pages, and their flickr page.) And, if I hadn’t googled jetblue youtube, I wouldn’t have known they have videos posted.
2. Rubbermaid’s page with 5,920 followers, links to their blog. On their blog there are links to their flickr, friendfeed, facebook and youtube profiles. But in none of those places could I find a link to their corporate website, where one would hope to find links to those respective profiles. I looked on the “Contact Us” page thinking maybe I would find something there. Rubbermaid’s page links to their website and blog. The homepage of the website only has a link to the blog.
3. Duncan Donut’s page with 37,518 followers, links to their website. The website doesn’t have any links to their social media profile pages. When I searched for a corporate blog, I found the last post was published in July 2009. And what about their youtube channel with 337, 566 views, how would anyone know about that?
4. Dell’s Twitter Page links to community tools, ideas, facebook, flickr, videos, blogs, as well as their website. Under Community Tools on their website there are links to join the discussion, share your ideas, read our blogs. The Blogs have links to youtube, flickr, facebook, linkedin, and twitter.
5. Zappos Twitter page links to on twitter, and the ceo’s twitter page links to zappos website. The home page has two youtube videos embedded on the very bottom of the page, but no direct link to zappos youtube channel with their 42,944 views. It also doesn’t link to their facebook page, which has 23,226 fans. The facebook page links to follow our ceo, two company twitter pages, corporate website, zappos jobs, and youtube. Within the content of the wall there are links to the zappos running blog, but nowhere could I find a link to zappos corporate blog. On the blog there is a link to rss, subscribe to all blogs, but I wondered, how many are there?
6. Comcast’s page, ComcastCare’s with their 32,449 fans, links to their website, but there aren’t any links from the web site to twitter. Or links to their facebook page (not sure if there is one or not there was a search result for a group page), and no links to a clearly defined comcast youtube channel.
Of these six companies, Dell appears to be doing the best job in terms of cross-linking all of their social media profiles from their corporate website. Everyone seems to have a slightly different approach to where and how they are linking. What’s up with not linking all these pages from corporate websites? It makes me wonder if corporate websites have outlived their usefulness in terms of being the place which points visitors to all relevant company pages.
What do you think? Is there a disconnect in linking social media profiles for businesses? What companies do you know of who are doing it well?