It’s great to think that a person is able to communicate with companies and other persons on the move without having to pick up the phone or send an e-mail. Real time communication is even being transferred into the search results of Google in the form of ‘Tweets’.
With the rise of Social Networking sites like Facebook, Myspace and indeed current big hit Twitter (lol), its probably fair to say that its better to be involved then it is to not be. As the access which these sites give you to either direct members of staff or third party (in the know) agencies is incredible. Brands are finally starting to remember the customer and of course well thought out any strategy should incorporate elements of social media and interaction with the customer: not just treating them as your end of year bonus package.
Of course “Being Connected” comes in many different ways. Some prefer being able to maintain their communication with a company through the medium of the telephone. Others enjoy being able to Tweet the company about the concerns they might have and if you are slightly jaded like myself you probably still like sending long e-mails with long thought out sentences like:
“I’m going to boycott you unless you meet my probably unreasonable demands…”
Alternatively you could use a Netbook using a mobile broadband connection or even WIFI (I’m tempted towards actually being in charge of the connection as opposed to relying on a signal created by say a coffee shop or library). Recently I took part in a consumer panel for a mobile broadband ISP. It was very interesting and my opinions where found thanks in part to a social media/interaction with users strategy.
Others may use contract SIM phones or even pay as you go phones to contact companies to make their complaints or sing praises. As I said earlier I was picked to go to London to communicate directly with the head of product development (this did however involve drinking a little bit too much wine and a stay in a very expensive hotel). All this was possible thanks to the rise of online communication and the willingness of brands to stay in touch with the customers who at the end of the day – pay the wages.
As a consumer its always worth remembering that being in contact will enable to you to maintain an element of ‘closeness’ with a product/brand. Believing a brand wants to hear what you think makes you want to invest your pennies into a company, remember someone somewhere wants to hear what you think…