It’s fairly common to hear business owners talk about social media marketing as an option for their strategy, not a must. And that is true. You certainly don’t have to be on social media to market your business if you’ve found the most effective platforms for this to be elsewhere.
The problem with that is your customer needs you to be social. You can’t just look at online conversations and think that’s where you’ll be sharing your messages because more than anything it’s a tool for listening. Your customers want you to hear them.
So while you’re reevaluating the importance of digital media, here are a few reasons why your customers need you to be social:
They’re Not Using the Phone
Well not like they used to. Wouldn’t that be crazy if I told you that you didn’t need a phoneline for your business anymore? That’s ridiculous because you likely do have customers who like to talk to you about their transaction or questions they have by phone. But other demographics, especially younger, more tech-saavy customers, are looking to communicate online. We’ve now reached a point where that doesn’t even mean your website help desk so much as it does your Facebook page and Twitter handle.
@poshbrood Hmm let me report this. Was this the error message you were getting: “Service ID: 12.4001”? ^KT
— Delta Assist (@DeltaAssist) March 21, 2012
Whether a customer is talking directly to you, like in the tweet shown above or just casually mentioning you in their social updates, don’t you want to chime in on that conversation? Especially if there is a tone of frustration. When you see these updates through social media, it’s a great opportunity to show that you’re listening and are there for your customer when they need you.
They Don’t Know How to Do Something
The natural first hesitation with not signing up to use social media to communicate on behalf of your business is that you just don’t know what to say. But if you asked a customer what they think you should say, you would have content for weeks, if not much more. Content marketing is an incredible force in digital media that is setting up the customer to find anything they want to know while benefiting the businesses by getting the attention of those information seekers.
Need to outsource the small stuff? IFTTT is going to be your new best friend. youtube.com/watch?v=swON1L…
— Savvy Sexy Social (@SavvySexySocial) June 4, 2013
If you want your customer to listen to what you think they need, you have to give them what they want first. You’ll notice from the tweet above that I share quite a bit of information with my audience three times a week in a video blog segment. I share so many tips and tricks to how I help businesses with their online presence that you might think I run the risk of sharing too much and losing clients. Not true. There may be some people who take the information and run, but they were never my client to begin with. The ones who know they need my help will learn from my content that I walk the talk and when they’re ready to hire someone they will remember who they learned from.
They Want to Like You
We live in an age where people show off everything they’re doing at any point in their day via social media and smartphones. Businesses are a huge part of that. Maybe you didn’t attract a customer to your place with social, but they’re using it when they get there. And they want to like you!
— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) May 20, 2013
Don’t shy away from conversations online because you’ll likely be surprised to learn how many are a positive reinforcement of both parties showing how fun it is to be a business owner and a customer.
Why do your customers need you to be social?