Enhancing productivity and opportunities through social media

As discussed in my previous posts, it is pretty clear that social media has been a useful tool for organisations. In this week’s post I want to focus more on how these organisations can improve their ‘business value chain’ (as McKinsey calls them, pp15-19 & 35-43) such as marketing and sales as well as their customer service through social technologies.

Let’s have a look at DealExtreme (DX), an international eCommerce business that sells gadgets, electronics and home goods for low prices with free shipping around the world (yes that’s right, you heard right, $0 world-wide shipping on goods even if they only cost $1).

(Image courtesy of DealExtreme)

But what makes DealExtreme so successful?

Their social Media campaigns on FacebookTwitterBlogForum, and YouTube are examples of how this company is capitalizing on social media as a tool for marketing and sales, as well as customer response/support. On their Facebook page you will find posts filled with competitions, advertising for their products.

Campaigns such as their  ‘share pictures of your DX products and win prizes’, is a great way for customers to tell other potential consumers about their existing buys/favorites as well as a way for people to share their thoughts, feedback and insight on many other product offerings  (below image from their Facebook page and video from their YouTube Channel).

(Image courtesy of Dealextreme)

This allows DX to communicate to its consumers at a very low cost (Facebook is free, and they currently have over 1 Million likes), and are able to directly target this audience by providing promotions and viral marketing. As well as this, their Facebook page is a front for their business to communicate with the customers, building a small online community where feedback is appreciated by the DX team. On this page, users can ask questions or provide feedback on products, or even track or inquire about current deliveries.

McKinsey explains the business benefits with social technologies as ‘value leavers’, and companies are becoming more and more effective in increasing communication, knowledge sharing and consumer/business collaboration. Furthermore, developing customer insights allows for a boost in interaction as well as productivity. As can be seen with the case of DX, they have successfully, utilized this forefront for marketing communication as well as gaining insight on market perceptions as well as customer care, thereby allowing their business to thrive and continuously improve and provide the best products (at the lowest price) to their consumers.

**UPDATE**

How cool are these bedsheets from DX? (Image courtesy of Dealextreme)

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24 thoughts on “Enhancing productivity and opportunities through social media

  1. Max says:

    Hi. How often do you think customers will get a reply from them through Facebook or Twitter?

    Feel free to click on my name to check out my blog and please do leave a comment. Thanks.

    • xavier1610 says:

      Hi Max, if the company is good, then they get a reply very quickly, many other Facebook pages even like Optus and Telstra will have dedicated staff working on their social media sites to answer any customer queries, or even chat services. So yes I agree it is an effective tool for communication with the customer.

  2. Hi Xavier,
    Thanks for the great post.
    I find DX’s use of utilising its existing customer basis to market for them an impressive strategy.I believe this is due to people being naturally inclined to listen to what their friends and family recommend. However couldn’t this be a negative marketing strategy for them to? If for example a customer wasn’t happy with DX’s service this may lead to a sour taste in a few potential customers mouths. DO they have anything to combat these situations?

    • By the way love the theme 😉

      • xavier1610 says:

        Thanks Dillen for your response! Yes I do agree that being open (like with the wikinomics model) may have attract a negative response with some customers, but I believe with the right amount of transparency, this allows for more trust. With alot of eCommerce websites such as amazon and ebay, it is more important that they allow for the customers voice, and more importantly to listen and act. If they continuously neglect any negativity, then yes they will place themselves in more harm, but if they can act promptly and take on any feedback or improve, then they can expect better customer retainment. 😀

      • xavier1610 says:

        and your theme is also very impressive 😉

  3. Nice post!

    I like the idea of a company compelling their audiences to be involved through those ventures like take a photo and wi a prize sort of things.

  4. Mica says:

    Very good point that by being active they can create more buzz around their products. Word of mouth is a great way of doing that as well. As an example, if someone who follows the company shares the information they have obtained from the facebook page in conversation (like free shipping), the reach extends beyond social media as well. Educating and showing value to their customers allows them to reach more potential customers in this fashion.

  5. alaabogari86 says:

    Like your post!

    I didn´t know about this ecommerce company and its strategies using social media to attract more customers and engage the existing ones.

    Moreover, I agree with your comment before about the negative response that they could get from some customers. I reckon with social media strategies you will always have the risk to get negative impressions, and it is be worst cause its online so it can expand too fast around the web, but for me its more important to be open and transparent with your customers giving them the right space to express their opinions and comments.

    • xavier1610 says:

      Yes and I think they will capitalize on this and build a better customer relationship in the long run. You should try buy from them, very cheap, delivers in. 2-4 weeks but its worth the wait :p

  6. Alex says:

    Good point. Viral marketing via facebook/twitter etc. these days is massive! However there is a fine line between marketing and spamming and companies need to know where the boundary is. But winning prizes is always nice 😀 Great blog!

  7. adenjones says:

    Adding to the existing conversation. Though negative responses to products / services on social forums may have an immediately negative effect, I think that how the service provider responds to such criticism is the true determining factor in the way the public will view the situation.
    If an organisation enacts a prompt response and resolves the situation for a customer adequately I believe that it will turn the public perception around and, in fact, endear the organisation to the public.
    Just my two cents. Great post by the way.

    • xavier1610 says:

      Thanks Aden, i agree with what you said. What is the point of transparent and open social technologies if you are not going to use them appropriately to achieve better customer response?

  8. Sarun Y. says:

    Hi Wong,
    By giving myself a visit to each of DealExtreme (DX)’s social technologies, I can see that its organisation really paid attention to build its customers’ relations along with providing them better eCommerce shopping experiences. Providing various online channels to get in touch with its customers and promote its products is what I consider it to be the main part of the DX’s marketing plan. I also agree with what you have mentioned in your post about gaining customers’ insights from the use of the social technologies (e.g. ideas, feedbacks, comments). These pieces of information can really help DX to predict the trends and improve its service.

    Nice post, Wong 🙂

  9. darrentt94 says:

    Hi Wong,

    Great blog! I think the idea of using social media for viral marketing is a good strategy to increase sales. This does enable DX to provide free shipping to their customers. It is a win win situation however would the strategy work in the long run?

    • xavier1610 says:

      As I have said in other posts if they are able to keep up their social campaign and please their customers and maintain their brand then yes sure they can use this strategy in the long run.

      Xavier

  10. David Kempe says:

    Nice blog as always. I have a few nitpicks, though. Should the referencing be in a specific style (Harvard or APA?). You might want to categorise your post too, and just be careful when highlighting words to create a hyperlink with, as sometimes you catch the space behind the word(s)!

    But apart from those minor qualms, it was interesting learning about DealExtreme and their free and effective marketing strategies. I also like that you embedded a YouTube video in the post. Just makes it that bit better. Good job!

    • xavier1610 says:

      Thanks David, as its a blog and not a normal university written task, I have been referencing with hyperlinks, if I have borrowed any quotes etc from other sites. But thanks for the hyperlink space issue ill try fix them up 🙂

  11. Hello, DealExtreme is an appealing example to demonstrate the power of social media technology. Just a small question, when you talk about free world-wide shipment, do you mean that DealExtreme does not charge its customers for shipment, or it learns a strategy to save the cost of shipment?

    • xavier1610 says:

      Hi zhonghao, thanks for your comment 🙂 Deal extreme does not charge it’s customers for shipping at all so it’s free international shipping! They advertise this through their social media campaigns and customers love the fact they can save on shipping costs.

  12. […] a couple of weeks back when I discussed briefly how social media can enhance productivity and opportunities, today I want to describe how organisations from the Social Sector (i.e. not-for-profit […]

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