Like many other red-blooded Americans - both male and female, I am a huge football fan. Born and raised in the City of Brotherly Love, I am also a long-suffering Philadelphia Eagles fan. 
I am also, as you could well imagine, a fan of all things social media, else why would I be writing this article in this forum in the first place?
I digress...
When I heard about a new social media platform founded by former Atlanta Falcon Will Overstreet called Voices Heard Media, I was instantly intrigued. 
I mean if you added in coffee, you'd have three of my greatest loves all in one: football, social media and java. 
A man can dream, can't he?
I am kidding of course. My wife and kids know I am kidding, right?
Anyway, Voices Heard Media is actually a leader in multi-platform user engagement tools including a patent-pending Engagement Engine technology platform which powers a suite of embeddable applications. These applications in turn generate engagement and help build and foster communities directly on a given website as well as across mobile and social media networks. 
Their list of clients include Fox Sports, AOL, The Huffington Post, HGTV, Food Network, the Washington Wizards, numerous television stations and more.
I caught up with Will not long ago to find out why he believes that successful businesses need a real-time engagement platform that individual social media platforms don't fill... but his does. 
Q: Why is it important for brands to engage consumers?
A: First and foremost the consumer now expects it. Their expectations are for a much higher level of service and the ability to reach anyone at anytime. Many times customers worry about the risk of engaging their customers; however if a company is not talking and communicating then someone else will be communicating for you. This is a far greater risk than simply hitting something head on, and at least being able to control the message and react to the market. 
Q: What do you see as being the biggest challenge for marketers/advertisers today and how can Voices Heard Media help them overcome those challenges?
A: The challenges are many, Steve... 
  • Provide something of value to the consumer. Your content and communication cannot just be about the next special or deal - it has to add value to the customer’s experience.
  • Start with real world goals and try different techniques to discover which activities have the most impact for your business
  • Not all customers are the same. Customers have different goals. There is no cookie cutter answer.
  • Set expectations with the customer. Overnight success is rare and not the norm.
  • Take the time to review what is working and what is not and be prepared to make changes
  • Explore the vast sea of technologies and know which one you should go with. 
  • Come up with content ideas to reach the consumer
  • At first give the customer the fish but always be trying to teach them how to fish.
Our company works directly with customers but we prefer working with partner companies like marketing / PR groups, and other software vendors because our service in combination with other partner services ultimately delivers more value to the customer. 
We work with customers and partners in many ways, from simply providing software to helping them plan and execute a strategy. We look to develop long-term relationships and become a trusted source for any type of community engagement opportunities. This mindset has allowed us to stay ahead of the game in developing the expertise and future solutions for the marketplace.   
Q: What does the future hold for engagement tools when it comes to marketers and advertisers?
A: The tools will become more advanced in their reporting features and eventually will be able to automatically react and serve the customer a better experience and response. 
The benefits will enhanced scalability and information gathering tools that effectively allow businesses to be communicating with consumers while requiring less human interaction.
So, what do you think of this platform?
Is it something you could use yourself or one of your clients?
What ways/platforms are you using to engage your customers and prospects?
'Til next time...
Image source: Google Images