Social Media and how it is changing The Hobby.
Engagement. If you could use only one word to describe the 21st Century relationship between a company, in this case trading card manufacturers, and their customers, us as collectors, it would be engagement. Seizing upon the opportunities provided by social media, both Upper Deck and, more recently, Topps have begun to capitalize on this idea of audience engagement through the use of Twitter.
Far from being strictly a broadcasting tool, Twitter has created an opportunity for collectors to directly interact with manufacturers on a previously inconceivable level. From questions about product to feedback on new and pending releases, the dialogue that takes place everyday creates a sense of community, fosters customer loyalty and provides real-time feedback on a variety of issues relevant to both collector and manufacturer alike. As I have mentioned in a previous post ranking the card manufacturers use of social media, Upper Deck has been ahead of the curve. Topps is playing catch up but has recently begun to engage collectors in direct dialogue and Q&A that surpasses Upper Deck.
If you are a collector and have questions, ideas, and/or feedback relevant to trading cards, you really need to be. Topps and Upper Deck are there ready to listen and more importantly engage.
So try it out for a month and let me know your thoughts before and after your experience. Oh, and be sure to "follow" me.