Listen to Your Customers
Social media is an excellent vehicle for engaging customers in the short and long term. Equally important is the ability to actively listen to customers.
I recently read an article on the Four Seasons about engaging customers through social media. Elizabeth Pizzinato, VP Brand Communications for Four Seasons explained how social media engagement works for them. Pizzinato explains “We knew we were on to something back in 2009 from an experience in Santa Barbra, CA. A blogger was staying at the property and tweeted that the music for the turndown services was ‘more appropriate for a funeral or a beheading.’ The property picked up the tweet, and the next day sent up an amenity for the inconvenience, as well as a list of stations with more ‘appropriate’ music. The blogger
responded with ‘major props to 4 seasons for hearing my request. Meant in jest but kudos for picking it up.’ Light bulbs went off from there.”
Company Facebook or Google+ Pages are also a great place for customers to look for help, share their comments, and suggestions, and connect with the company. I recently read a study from IBM, From Stretched to Strengthened – Insights from the Global Chief Marketing Officer Study. The study interviewed over 1,700 IBM Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), spanning 19 industries and 64 countries. In this study they shared that people engage on company social media pages not necessarily to “connect” with the company, rather, they engage in the pursuit of free goodies.
What’s better than engaging with your customers, or potential customers than with an edutainment (education + entertainment ) contest that engages people, disseminates brand awareness and product benefits, all while vying for an amazing prize? Companies sometimes overlook the power of human’s self-serving nature – it’s not always a bad trait!
Customer’s will communicate the way they feel most comfortable. Social media is about being social. Many companies fail to realize the importance of simply being social! The adjective definition of social: “Willing to talk and engage in activities with other people; friendly.” It’s all about the conversation – so get chatting!
If you would like to join and perhaps influence the conversation, it is important that you meet customers on their terms. With 216,397,060 people in North America on Facebook alone, businesses serious about engaging their customers truly need to go to where the people are, and this includes social media sites like Facebook. Social media outlets are the place to start relating to your customers.
Heading into 2012, customer social media engagement will continue to be an important part of every marketing strategy.
For engaging customers, MavenSocial does three things very well: creating social lift on social media campaigns, creating sharing campaigns, and utilizing our Facebook application to effectively reach current and potential customers.
Identify your company’s social media influencers and harness the power of brand dissemination and influence! Brand influencers have the ability to take an idea, brand, or concept and bring it to the mainstream. An influencer is defined as someone or something who “determines: shapes or influences; or gives direction to” and has the ability to mould public opinion. Through tapping into the power of your market’s influencers, you will be able to create a strategy to engage them for your business’ benefit.
Overall, brand influencers can take an idea, brand, or concept and bring it to the mainstream!
Below are 5 ways to identify your brand influencers:
1. Identify Your Niche Market
It is crucial to understand where your business fits into the market. Define what you are trying to accomplish and how y
ou intend to do it. It is about realistic goal setting and thorough research. Consider what need your business satiates. What do you have to offer that other businesses lack? In most households, the woman makes the purchasing decisions – are you reaching the right person in your marketing approach?
2. Assess Influencer Reach
When identifying who your core social influencers are, it is important to understand their reach and relevance to the brand that you want to
promote. How many people do they have following them? Do the influencers interact with their followers, consistently keeping them updated on new products and promotions? Look at the frequency of posts and updates; an out of date blog is a dead blog.
Approximately 1% of a site’s audience generates 20% of all its traffic, that’s HUGE!
Identify who your social media influencers are with up-to-date data that shows the true ROI of social media influencer engagement. WhiteFire Social provides great software that does just that.
3. What do They Share?
Once you have identified your niche market and influencer reach, the next step is identifying what type of information your influencers share. Do they share links to contests and sweepstakes? Are they more content focused, sharing branded entertainment content?
The answers to these questions will help you understand where your focus should be. Are you an organic baby food company? Best chances are your niche market is moms who want to feed their baby well, at a good price. Offering coupons and discounts on nutritious baby food might be the right way to cause a buzz.
4. Do They Create Content that is Legitimate and Timely?
Not only is the content timely, is the influencer innovating? Are they presenting and disseminating content in a way that you have not seen previously? If so, then consider the validity of their information. Have they reported accurate and up-to-date information?
Content is King, folks!
5. Do They Rank on Google?
One interesting aspect to consider is whether or not they have strong keyword associations on Google. A social influencer’s organic ranking can be a good indication of their popularity or influence on the topic. While the organic ranking is not crucial to defining a social influencer, it can be strong indication of their clout on the subject.
Take note! Social Media Influencers are looking for recognition, and a virtual leaderboard is a great way to boost company engagement with your influencers. Everyone likes to see their efforts appreciated, and their name up in lights, especially by a business that they endorse just because they can. The idea is to get people working actively for you; it’s about intention.
Remember, nobodies are the new somebodies! Brand influencers are the everyday people like you and me!