Transcript of Video:
Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have replaced the water cooler as the customer hangout. Business owners need to understand that social networks have quickly become the preferred way to communicate for many people. This means that many of the conventional ways to promote and sell products and serices don’t work so well anymore.
People today are learning to rely on user reviews, blogs, forums, and other social networking sites. These new social media tools help people be informed, solve problems, and make purchasing decisions. Yet, the special value delivered by social media is the relationship between the customer and the provider.
The new social media tools help businesses connect with current, past, and future customers. Social media empowers the customer to contact you on their terms. This allows you to start a dialogue about what really matters to them. This relationship is nurtured by meaningful and useful content provided by the provider. The content helps the provider build trust with the visitor while positioning the provider as an expert.
Here are ten tips for nurturing relationships with social media:
- No registration forms. Don’t ask people to register since this will scare most visitors away. The most important objective is to engage the visitor. Offer a free digital incentive in exchange for permission to email them later.
- Free content. Provide lots of free content that is valuable to the visitor. This could be in any format or type, including photos, text, audio or video. It must address the vistors’ wants, needs, or interests.
- Don’t sell. Don’t sell or push the customer to buy. When the visotr is ready to do business, they will tell you.
- Be authentic. Always be authentic. Always tell the truth. Great brands are consistent and authentic. If you fake it, the customer will sense it and won’t trust you.
- Keep promises. Generally speaking, people will learn to trust you by observing your behavior and how you deliver on your promises. If you cannot keep a promise, fess up to it and explain how you are going to repair things. Breaking promises is a sure-fire way to injure or destroy a customer relationship.
- Listen. Listen to what your customers tell you. This is how you learn more about their interests and needs. Understanding customer preferences is the key to delivering products and services that sell.
- Be transparent. If your product or service has a problem, say so. If you make a mistake, say so. Create a dialogue about making things better. The penalty of not being transparent is the customer perception that you are hiding things and cannot be trusted. There are no secrets in the new normal.
- Be forgiving. Visitors may write things that they regret. Greet criticism with objectivity and calm. Explain the other side of the situation. Listen carefully because they might be right, and you might be wrong. This can be an opportunity to make things better for everyone.
- Be grateful. Your visitors have many choices and can easily move on to another website. Say “thanks” often. Cherish their participation.
- Be patient. Relationships take time. Consistent support from your business will help build a solid relationship.
Bar Scene in video:
Two guys are sitting at a table in a sports bar. A waitress serves them their two beers and asks, “Would you like anything else?”
The one guy responds, “No, anyways, as I was saying…”
The other guy comments, “Whatever.”
The waitress walks away.
Voiceover in bar scene: “Nurturing relationships is a process of getting people to engage with you about their wants, needs, and interests. It’s all about them, and not about you.”
The two guys look up and a basketball game is playing on the bar television. They see an advertisement running below the televised game that reads, “Spicy Wings Wednesdays $.25 Wings.”
Voiceover: “Your reward is being considered a thought leader and a trusted partner.”
One of the two guys suggests, “Hey, do you want to get some hot wings?”
The other guy responds, “Sure, man. Sounds great!”
They call the waitress back over.
Voiceover: “For the visitor, who is ready to go forward, the call to action is to contact the provider for more information. Or, better yet, to order the hot wings!”
End of video…
Announcing the new book, Déjà NEW Marketing: Increase Sales with Social Media, Search Marketing, E-mail Marketing, Blogs, and More
by John Bradley Jackson