Online marketing through social networks has become a necessity for businesses to thrive. Among the many aspects of online social marketing, cross-channel messaging has been one that individuals have perfected, but businesses have not yet mastered (“Why Cross-Channel Messaging is Crucial to Reaching New Customers” http://mashable.com/2011/04/05/cross-channel-messaging/). George Schlossnagle, president and chief executive officer of Message Systems, describes cross-channel messaging as the ability of being able to post Facebook comments via text message or upload photos on Flickr via MMS, a concept many businesses are falling short of.
This article points out that the two-way mobile interactions that young people consider “messaging” is disconnected from the one-way notification “messaging” that business brands embody. To truly connect with their customers, brands must consider one-on-one interactions, and transcend the misconceptions that email, text messaging, and social networks fall within their own significant realms.
The lack of personal attention that customers often receive from businesses is not enough to build a loyal connection between the two. In a world where two-way conversation and dialogue has become an expectation amongst individuals, businesses and brands are no exception.
George Schlossnagle brings to attention the fault of many businesses. Social media is all about engaging the customer and providing interaction, not only having the businesses do the talking. For example, the frequent text messages that come and go reminding customers of sales leave customers no option for inquiry or engagement. Individualized MMS’ alerts with tailored suggestions prove to be more relevant and effective.
Through cross-channel messaging and revolutionary technology, this personalized interactivity with the customer can be achieved. Businesses can become the hot spots of the social media as interactions amongst customers grow, with no limitations as to the device being used.
This is where Cross-Channel Messaging comes into play. Customers should not be diverted to a specific channel in order to interact. According to the article, they should be allowed (preferably encouraged) to interact and engage in conversation through any means of “messaging” (email, text, IM, social media). In this way, the customer is at maximum comfort and ease. In the end, participation is key; the means to achieve it has been or can be developed.