E-commerce innovation: Engaging your customers

There are many variables at stake when it comes to the success or failure of a business or organization. Part of that success lies in marketing and the way people choose to engage their audiences in the world. In an age of social media, that means taking the technologies that are at hand today and pushing the limits of what it means to connect with our communities every day.

There are great examples of brands that have turned modern technologies and business practices into successful audience engagement innovation tools. Every organization has access to tools like social media, web hosting and blogging, but some have set a new standard for what it looks like when a company is serious about meeting their audience where they are online. For those interested in following in their footsteps, here are three examples of companies who do engagement right:

Pepsi and Social Media

Social media has already proven to be a valuable tool that can change the image of a company, allow for great audience engagement and offer valuable insight. Pepsi is taking two of its biggest drinks (Pepsi Cola and Mountain Dew) and doing some pretty innovative things on the social web. Instead of spending big bucks on a Super Bowl ad this year, Pepsi is using the money for social media campaigns. Pepsi chose to focus not on selling their drinks, but supporting ideas. The campaign suggests that instead of buying Pepsi just to enjoy, you should purchase it to help support ideas that could move communities forward. The social media campaign has already been successful in raising 1.3 million dollars to go to various communities and projects, all chosen by—you guessed it—fans on social media.

Rackspace and Web Hosting

You might think your amazing website design is the only thing you need to worry about online, but that really isn’t the case. Not only does your website need to be engaging, it also needs to be hosted on a server you can count on. Consumers can be turned off by any company if they visit the website and it’s down for whatever reason. Using a web hosting company can help ensure that your site is maintained and always up, but why simply settle for that? Rackspace not only provides excellent web hosting, they provide fanatical customer service, so that when you run into a server issue, they’re there 24/7/365 to help you fix the problem. Boasting a 99.9 percent uptime, Rackspace sets the bar higher for those looking to make a splash on the Internet. Their commitment to server uptime makes it easier for companies and organizations to put their eggs in the online basket, and it can inspire them to show the same commitment to their communities through social outlets.

General Electronics and Blogging

Looking to spread brand awareness? There really isn’t a better tool than blogging. As part of a social media campaign, blogging can really help educate your audience and it provides you a platform to share news, accolades and other interests. General Electronics is a great example of this because they have all kinds of projects going on, research happening and many products that consumers simply don’t know about. However, with their easy-to-navigate blog and the many stories they share online, anyone can learn about GE, its products and what the company is doing for the environment. A successful blogging campaign offers the audience free knowledge and encourages audience interaction.

Finding your voice is key in audience engagement innovation, but once you find it you can use a number of tools that you already have at hand. In many cases, these ways to interact with your audience are free (at least in terms of subscription), and if they aren’t then the small cost is worth the price. When you choose to be innovative about the way you engage your audience, you are opening up the potential to reach new people and grow the size of your organization or company.

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