We live in the age of digital distractions. Humans have a tendency of spreading ourselves thin, regularly thinking quantity over quality. With social media constantly beckoning at us, we can easily lose focus on our goal of engaging customers, throwing out tidbits of communication, rather than engaging in meaningful interaction. It’s very easy to speedily skim through your social media accounts, responding only to those hot topics which seem to catch your eye. Putting out fires seems so much more pressing than showing gratitude for a compliment.
However, by dismissing those insignificant questions or ignoring positive, or worse, negative reviews, you may be doing more damage to your business profile than you realize. Are you tuned in to your customers or are you simply too busy handling day-to-day business? Guess what? Social media should be a HUGE part of your marketing strategy and interaction on these sites is an integral part of your advertising.
Tending to social media accounts can seem like an overwhelming task. It must be treated as an investment. The more you put in, the more you’ll get out. It takes effort and time. By responding to each comment and every review, you’ll be building trust and confidence with your customer base. Hearing (or in this case, seeing) what your customers say is a basic function. Listening, however, involves attentive observation and response. Rather than providing all the answers, engage your customer, coax suggestions to the surface. Give your customers the opportunity to be heard and understood. When customers engage with your brand on social media, they are trusting you to provide a service or product which will solve their issue.
Here are a few steps to getting tuned into your customers:
- Start conversations. Initiate communication. Write blogs. Ask for comments. Engage in online conversations in your industry. Tweet. Use those social media platforms to announce your presence. Familiarize your brand with your potential customers. Once they see you engaging, they’ll return the favor.
- Utilize User Generated Content: People love recognition. They love feeling important and that they’ve made an impact. Encourage hashtags.
- Use current events, upcoming holidays to initiate and engage online conversations with your clientele. Ask for their opinions.
- Keep that response time to a minimum. According to Social Media Today, 53% of Twitter users expect a response within one hour. Remember, if you don’t respond, your customers will seek someone else that will.
- Graciously respond to all reviews. Understand the impact your reactions will have on your customer base. Remember, your customers and potential clientele are all watching to see how you handle yourself and your reviews.
By staying grounded and sincere in your interactions, your brand will be humanized. You’ll build trust and confidence with your customers, thus ensuring they’ll remain patrons. Tune in to their needs on social media. Be receptive and responsive. Like the new kid in the lunchroom, introduce yourself and participate in conversations. Before you know it, your customers will all be squeezing in to sit next to you.