More than ever, businesses are looking to engage their customers. With the advent of social media, engagement has taken on a whole new meaning. In fact, we, at Cinnamon Social would argue that it’s even more intimate now and personal then it has been over the past twenty years. Why? Let’s dig a little deeper.
Access, has been granted to not only customers engaging with companies, but also to companies who are engaging with customers and more importantly, their stats. Businesses now have more access than ever to what makes their customers tick. Looking at a person’s Facebook page is telling. Viewing a history of Tweets is revealing. This isn’t meant to be scary, but there is a certain amount of awareness that we forget is hanging out there in our social media feeds and that in the past, companies would spend lot’s of money to obtain, whether it be focus groups and through other research efforts.
Consumer’s have more power. With the accessibility that companies grant through their social media outlets, customers are a direct source for change and accountability. From ranting about a product or service to raving, companies have direct feedback about what they’re doing right or wrong. No more jumping through hoops to speak to the decision maker or selecting the right series of numbers when calling an 800 number to speak with someone who may be overseas or sitting in a room with 300 other call center operators, and no hope of your feedback reaching the desired audience. Social media is a direct marketing channel that customers and businesses can tap into.
Visibility. It’s considered best practice for a business to respond to feedback on their page or to follow a follower on Twitter. Businesses are expected to not only address feedback through social media, but to do so in a timely manner. Social media spreads news and gossip like wildfire and responsive, cooperative, timely communication goes a long way with consumers. Not to mention that this visibility extends to all users of social media. Everyone sees everyone else’s comments. So, don’t think for a minute that you can successfully blow off a comment or sweep a “situation” under the rug.
All businesses have access to social media and success boils down to not just the quality of your service or product, but also how you cultivate and manage your customer relationships. Take your social media feed seriously and even more importantly, enjoy it and have fun. This is a great opportunity to garner loyalty and spread the good word about your business.