MSU ADV420 Final — Verizon Social Media

Verizon Communications and its subsidiary Verizon Wireless represent one of the largest communications organizations, and the largest wireless provider in the United States, and as such wield one of the largest and most expansive marketing budgets of any company in America. Verizon currently finds itself caught between continually funneling money into traditional marketing campaigns, such as television and print advertisements, and beginning to realize the potential of a strong digital strategy and how it can help them not only save money, but also become more effective at reaching potential new customers in today’s digital age. With Verizon being one of the largest technology companies in the world, they have the talent and know-how to implement a massive new digital strategy, however I believe they could improve substantially is with social media marketing, and specifically with customer outreach on social media.

Social Media Marketing is an essential tool that needs to be used for an effective digital strategy, and while I believe Verizon for the most part handles this aspect fairly well, there is definitely room for improvement with its social media channels. Verizon should make a better use of content offers on its social media channels, offers such as free data or sweepstakes, this not only allows them to collect personal information such as names, addresses, emails and phone numbers, but it also will improve customer interaction on Facebook and Twitter, which will lead to more content sharing among users which in turn leads to the brand name being shared amongst innumerable more users across the platforms. A great example of this working well is with the Wendy’s Twitter account, which not only shares the standard marketing materials, but also interacts with customers and fans. Recently, one such customer tweeted at the company about a challenge for free chicken nuggets, and with a response to the customer, Wendy’s managed to set off what is essentially a massively successful marketing campaign that will in the end cost the company no more than their social media manager’s salary. One interaction with a fan in a comical retort, has led to the second most retweeted tweet of all time, with as of this writing, over 2.5 million retweets. That’s the power of social media.

But social media can be used for so much more, and this is where I believe Verizon is lacking. Much to their credit, they do use their platforms for customer service, and in my personal experience I have found them to be professional and very helpful, but as can be seen by Wendy’s, it’s important to reach out to customers not only when they’re in need, but when there is potential to get the brand name out and be seen in a friendly and engaging manner. T-Mobile is also great at this, not nearly to the extent of Wendy’s or other brands, but as a company within the same industry, T-Mobile manages to engage with its fans and is seen as a more friendly company. A lot of this has to go back to how Verizon is seen as a company from a broader standpoint however, and that is part of its marketing campaign too, the no frills, down to business, high quality carrier. But as competitors begin to catch up with network quality and reliability, I believe Verizon should begin to mimic some of the marketing aspects of their competitors within the field.

Another aspect of Verizon’s social media outreach that can use improvement, is the introduction of an inbound marketing technique, content offers. Content offers on social media are a powerful marketing tool that allows the company to not only get their name out across multiple platforms, but more importantly collect user information such as potential customer’s names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. With that information, Verizon can tailor their digital strategy more precisely and target a more appropriate portion of the populace, and in turn become much more efficient with their marketing budget. These content offers are valuable not only because of the priceless information that they bring in, but also because they can be extremely affordable, by offering products that cost almost nothing to the company (such as tickets, free data, etc), yet produce such valuable information.

With the introduction of a more friendly and engaging social media platform that not only shares marketing content, but engages customers to interact with the brand, and the addition of comprehensive content offers that encourage customers to share information for future marketing campaigns, I believe Verizon can improve and polish their digital strategy to be more effective and efficient, and compete more effectively with others in their growing market, and maintain their advantage as America’s largest and most reliable wireless provider.