Social Media, Mavens and SWAM


There is no question how important Social Media is regarding customer interaction and potential patrons.  Customers who Yelp, Facebook, Tweet, Instagram and Blog are our new generation of mavens.  A maven is a “trusted expert in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others.”  Mavens have increased in numbers because of the simplicity  in publishing their commentary with little to no cost.  The volume of public opinion on the Internet is available by just imputing a few key words in the search.

No secret shopper,  acclaimed critic, nor grandiose commercial holds more value than the opinion of your average joe on Yelp.  Yet professional critics and business owners have concerns about the point of view of some Yelp reviews.   Regardless if the review is a one star or a five star, it is an opinion of a non paid yelper that we do take seriously.  The Yelp community have their own recognition of a maven called the Elite.  Yelp’s Elite, are chosen (we don’t know what is the criteria to be ‘chosen’  perhaps it’s their large following and amount of reviews) to an elevated and exclusive status.

For real time feedback, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have given mavens and small business a boost in popularity. Instead of talking about each other without knowing about it, now we are included in the conversation.   If we don’t chat enough in our store, there’s the Facebook messaging, Twitter mentions, and Instagram notifications to keep our line of communication open 24 hours.  Mavens have taken the expression ‘word-of-mouth’ to another level.  The reaction is sales, instant but brief notoriety, and ultimately a cult following.

The Blog and/or Video Blog is the new social commercial.  Bloggers promote new products, where to purchase, and their personal feedback.  Beer bloggers, cigar bloggers, and even Hello Kitty bloggers have a found connection to our store.  This type of networking filters maven’s interests.  A maven can’t be an expert on everything but can influence the market with a niche expertise.   Many of these blogs have a direct effect on consumer patronage.  Since we also subscribe to a forum of common interests, we can immediately react to a maven’s highlight, educate ourselves, and fulfill a demand.

Information is so important to the consumer.  No amount of traditional education can prepare you for the social demands consumers are expecting especially in the retail market.   Once a product can sell itself, but to a maven, they want to know what other products are comparable, what’s the story behind it, and how to present it in a social setting.  At least if we are stumped on question, there’s always Google at our fingertips.



Category : Blog Posted on August 1, 2012

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