For the past few years, customer relationship has slowly left the confines of the telephone and the front desk and has made a strong foothold in the social media atmosphere. If you are asking why, it is simple: because that is where the people/the audience/the customers are! Added to that these days, traditional media are all on social media platforms.
WATCH THE TRENDS
If you have any interest in grabbing and sustaining the attention of your customers, make a habit of watching trends. This means of course that you ensure that you are positioned to receive such information. Be hungry for information, watch your competition and other similar individuals or organizations and observe what it is they are doing. If you watch carefully enough, you would notice a pattern and would be able to identify the brands that are successful in social media engagement.
GO WHERE YOUR AUDIENCE/CUSTOMER IS
So you have you been on Facebook for a few years now, then Twitter, now it’s obvious Google+ is getting a lot of attention. What are you waiting for? You’ve been watching the figures; the next step is to get there. For brands, the earlier you are on a social media portal and are able to gain some mastery the better.
You do not want to be like the company that joined Twitter after a customer made a complaint that became a major trend for a long while.
You do not want to be like the company that joined Twitter after a customer made a complaint that became a major trend for a long while. By the time they joined, they had lost the opportunity to have a say in the matter and an incredible amount of goodwill.
It is a social network, you are not just there to be counted, you are there to interact and connect with your fans and followers on a one-on-one basis. This simply means no short detached answers, no rude commentary and one of the most unforgivable sins for a brand to commit on a social network is to be non-committal or act superior to its customers. This was clearly the case with Nigerian airline Arik air that got more than it bargained for by hoping that a customer’s complaint would die away. What followed was a long (by social media standards) drawn out war-of-words which led to a public perception of notoriety of the brand. This means, address customer’s complaints politely and always give feedback. If you are not ready for that, don’t join the train!
To connect and engage with your audience via social networks, brands must learn to provide information on a regular basis in such a manner that the audience is expectant of certain information at certain times, this leads to engagement in the long term. If you give tips for instance, you can schedule them for a certain time of the day or on a certain day of the week.
DON’T MARKET ALWAYS
It is difficult to resist selling your brand and products all the time especially if it has started to work. If you want to maintain that connection via social media, you must learn to give out other information and support others. Brands like “Victoria’s Secret” do this by celebrating their models, fans and other issues that revolve around their brand. Their numbers and interactions tell the story; their personal level of interaction is working.
What other ways are there to connect? Feel free to share!