I am not going into SEO and other games. This is about the new-age social media games companies are playing now.
I used to drop my jaw in awe when I see some businesses having thousands of "likes". I still remember the early days when there was a bet in our team when ApartmentADDA will reach 50 likes. We are yet to reach the 1000 like mark. We let it grow organically and don't game on the likes.
However recently one of our "neighbours" in this domain, "just" jumped from 900 or so likes to - hold your breath - 9000+ likes overnight. I could not believe my eyes when I saw it. They must have bought these likes from some company which sells "likes" - these are the 'work from home and earn money' shops. If you look at Timeline then you will find where this abnormal jump happened - in May alone there were 5k likes - and may is not over yet. They had a similar jump in April. This is for a fan page which had tanked at 900 for almost a year.
Why will they do such a thing? What do they gain by doing it? Beats me.
The real "likes" on the other hand talk to you, answer your polls, get upset with you, pat you on the back - Facebook is a great platform to interact with your customers and also put a face to their names.
Recently I went to change my residential address in ICICI Bank. The clerk/asst manager whoever introduced me to a lady sitting in a cabin - must be the branch manager. She pulls out a paper and details on a new investment plan called GSIP. After 20 minutes of explaining how it works she summarizes 5 benefits and the last one being oh - you also get insurance for this. It did not register in me that time but I got back and did a google search on GSIP.
First hit - it says Prudential Life Insurance. Damn - she was all along selling a life insurance product morphed as an investment plan. We had decided to keep insurance and investment separate - that way you get maximum returns on both. This was not my idea - it was Sangeeta's philosophy and a good one.
I tweet my frustration and @ICICIBank Cares picks it up. Asks me what your issue is and send me your contact information. I instead explain why I am not amused at the "mismarketing" of a product. I did not provide my contact details. Thought will do so after I see a sensible reply tweet and also wanted to know I am interacting with a bot or not. They go quiet and after a couple of days I see this tweet.
@venkat2 We have noted your contact details, we'll assist you soon.
If you go and looks at the @ICICIBank_Care tweets they seem to be interacting with their customers and solving their issues. Someone reading this would have thought - good they took care of @venkat2's issues.
Actually they have pulled a fast one on me - twice. First the manager who sold me an Insurance Product as an Investment Product and now this handle - probably run by a "social media expert".
Probably the customer support handle exists because in the new age you are supposed to have this one too - along with the traditional call support lines.
I hope these support handles are used effectively as this is a great way to cause customer delight.