Month: September 2014

Nike Knows What They’re Doing

Nike has a mission in life. Their mission is to prevent their customers from looking like this.

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Nike has gone so far as to create a separate Twitter account with the sole purpose of tending to customer complaints and providing exceptional customer service. They understand that crowding their main Twitter page with criticisms and self-admitted wrongdoings just doesn’t make sense.

mainimageNike is very clear about who their audience is. They identify themselves as athletes and their mission is to help other athletes (their customers). As an international company, they provide customer service in seven languages. People all over the world can turn to Nike when they run in to a problem with their merchandise. This builds and maintains strong customer relations, which inevitably leads to sales and profit.

Nike Support acknowledges their customers on a personal level. They directly respond to tweets, and try their hardest to make their clientele feel comfortable and appreciated.

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It surprises me that Nike is one of the very few corporations who offer such impressive customer service via the Internet. Living in this digital age, it seems obvious that professionals would understand the significance of Social Media. But that is just not the case. The majority of companies are still providing customer support solely through telephone calls.

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These companies need to hang up their phones, turn on their computers, and start practicing customer service by means of the Internet. It’s an understood fact that society is glued to their smart phones, laptops, and tablets. A fundamental idea in business is to be where your customers are. If businesses aren’t on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, they are hiding from consumers.

Nike sets a precedent for other brands that want to stand out in the customer service industry. Maintaining two Twitter pages helps them to maintain a clean image while simultaneously giving their customers a sense of comfort. Nike understands that as a part of life, things will inevitably go wrong. Unlike most companies, they don’t try to hide their mistakes or customer complaints. They welcome these setbacks with open arms on an established Twitter page.

Nike has always been a leader in fashion and athletic apparel, and hopefully they hold their title of leader in the online customer service game. The concept of having an account for marketing and an account for customer service is a model all companies should follow.

Timberland.. You Should Listen To Me

timberlandTimberland’s trademark tan work boots are worn by construction workers, hikers, and young people who wish that they could be in a rap video. This different range of clientele seems to be too much for the marketing staff at Timberland to handle. They can’t quite figure out who to connect with on their social media platforms. The vegan mountain climber? Or the fashionista blogger on Pinterest? Timberland was originally built to support the needs of outdoors people. Their products have always been made for those who lead semi-rugged or adventurous lives. Their trademark, tan work boots are worn by construction workers, hikers, and ‘thug’ males and females alike. However, they seem to only be focusing on urban, fashion-conscious people. Their newest Lookbook for Fall 2014 shows models hanging out on city rooftops, playing the guitar, and being nonchalantly fabulous. Walking around Central Park is definitely not the same thing as going hiking in the woods of New Hampshire. Who exactly is their audience? I don’t think they know the answer to that. tumblr_mzlvj263431rbp6s3o1_1280 The huge diversity of people who wear the Timberland brand poses a problem for the marketing staff. One day they post a picture of North West and Kim Kardashian sporting their brand. The next day they try to appeal to environmentally conscious people by stating that some of their products are eco-conscious and organic. If Timberland paid more attention to their original customers: those outdoorsy hikers and nature lovers, then they may find a rise in sales and brand evangelists. Why don’t they make an app that finds local hiking spots? Or post concise and helpful manuals like “Easy To Pack Lunches”? They have over a million fans on Facebook, and almost 100,000 followers on Twitter. But the amount of interaction they have with their audience hints that they are doing something wrong. The amount of reblogs and favorites that they get is pitiful! Clearly they need to fix something. twitter Timberland definitely needs to work on their engagement. They are such a huge company and have achieved a lot of success, but there is room for significant improvement. One more thing… While they work on figuring out who their audience is, they should change their Facebook profile picture once in a while. profilepcis

My Thoughts On Social Media

Every morning I wake up and there is a nagging yet fulfilling task that I am forced to complete: I must check each of my social media platforms. Not only do I need to see what new updates took place while I was sleeping, but I wish for a new notification. I unplug my baby blue iPhone 5 from its charger and get to scrolling.

Facebook is the social media platform that takes up most of my time. It is a great place to connect with others and feel close to people you may not necessarily get the chance to see in real life. I scroll through my news feed every day to see what my friends and family have to offer.  A new selfie! Family vacation photos! My friend’s daughter just took her first step!

Instead of going to your friend’s houses to flip through their photo albums, Facebook grants me instant digital access to their images. It is so easy to connect with people and organizations through Facebook. My main audience on Facebook is family, old classmates, past and present coworkers, and friends I have made throughout my 22 years of life.

One of my strengths on Facebook is making statuses that grab the attention of my audience. When the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was virally taking over news feeds, I made a status to poke fun at the situation. I jokingly said, “You have 24 hours to pour boiling hot water all over yourself, or you must donate $20 to my checking account.” I received a lot of likes on this status. However, some people aren’t aware of my sense of humor and took offense to my statement.

A consequence of social media is the ongoing need for a new notification. This longing can be mentally draining. After I post a status or photo, I find myself incessantly reloading my home screen, impatiently waiting for a notification. It can be quite discouraging when only a miniscule amount of “friends” like what you have posted. As I take a more objective look at social media as a whole, I realize that my dependence on new notifications is detrimental.

This yearning for internet approval can subconsciously affect self-esteem in a negative way. I personally worry for my young nephews that a lack of attention on social media will harm their self-esteem. My youngest nephew has an Instagram account and I can’t help but notice all of the effort he puts in to getting ‘likes’. He, like many other internet users, take part in “Like For Like” exchanges. These covenants highlight the dire need for a new notification. Dependence on internet attention is a huge mistake that many people make. However, we can’t be blamed. It is natural to want attention.