(Wall Street Journal) — Established rules of communicating with customers are unraveling, driven by a shift in how we use the Internet. Emails and corporate websites are fast being replaced by Facebook and Twitter, where customers and employees alike have been liberated from the control of marketing and customer-service reps. While many companies embrace the opportunities in these new two-way communications tools, social media brings a host of new problems, such as how to measure communications and keep employees on message—and in legal compliance. So, new rules are emerging. Here are five of the best practices from companies that have grappled with social media.
Listen and measure: Dr Pepper spent years building its 8.5 million-strong fan base on Facebook. Now, careful tracking and testing with those Facebook users who say they “like” the soft drink helps the brand figure out how to hone its marketing messages. It blasts out two messages daily on its Facebook fan page, and then listens to the fans’ reactions. Using tools from Facebook and New York-based software-and-design agency Code & Theory, Dr Pepper can measure how many times a message is viewed, how many times it is shared with other Facebook users and what fan responses say.