Conversational Social Media

Please Like, Follow, Share, and Subscribe!

“Like this post and get a coupon for free ice cream” “Follow us on Facebook and learn how you can be entered to win!” “Share the good news!” “Subscribe!” Does this look familiar? You would be hard pressed to find a content creator of a company on social media who’s not trying to grow their own following. That’s the point right? The organization or person with the most Instagram followers at the end of the day is the winner. Or so that is what we are meant to believe.

Now, what happens when those followers try to reach out through the Facebook fan page or LinkedIn or snap the company back? Too often those communications fall on deaf ears. Older and established companies have had the luxury of one-way communication with their customers. They put up signs, then they bought radio ads, and later they bought TV airtime. For the last 150 years, businesses have had little interaction with their customer base. They, and new companies who try to model themselves on the establishment. Try to treat social media the same way. These companies or personalities think having 1.5-million Twitter followers means they have 1.5-million sets of eyes as their market too.

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Social Media as the Telephone

What if there was a way for your customers to tell you exactly what they want? That would be a billion dollar idea, wouldn’t it? The idea to create a platform where companies and customers could interact has untold potential. I hope you see my sarcasm between the lines. It’s already here. Think of social media, such as Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest or Yik Yak or the one being released tomorrow, as the telephone. There are over a billion people across the different platforms and all of them want or need something.

Yesterday, I wrote about Going Viral. I argued that despite how many people wish to achieve going viral, few do and it is a better long-term strategy to have the slow build up of followers to build relationships via engagement. If anything, this article is Part II of yesterday. Once you begin to slowly mass followers by giving them value, content, and interaction, then you can listen to what they want. Perhaps what you’re offering costs too much or a product only serves a niche audience and they want something more generalized. You can react to the market by giving people what they want without spending money on surveys. Imagine never having to pay for a focus group because you already have one on a Facebook fan page.

Community Management

Social media is also the place to voice complaints and/or praises. If a customer has a great experience in your store, then they may tell three friends. If they have a bad experience, they may tell 30 to 100. Not good. You now have the platform to see those complaints and try to make them right, whereas before a company would have no idea unless someone called to complain.

Make sure you listen to the criticism as well as the praise. Followers on Google+ are more than channels to wallets. Ask them what they are looking for in an app, what they expect from a pair of shoes, or how to reduce the amount of time it takes to get through your checkout line. They are there and ready to answer your many questions. Many social media platforms have awesome built in tools such a polls to help you conduct your own research and it’s free. Take advantage of these perks and constantly work to establish a one-on-one relationship with your customers.

 

The question of the day: Have you used the poll feature in Facebook or Twitter? Please comment below or Tweet us or post on Facebook.

Until tomorrow.

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