In business social networking, real time displays can be extremely important.
Sharing with your community what your customers like…and dislike…about your business, as well as your competitors’ businesses, makes you real. After all, if you’re in business, it’s because you have customers. And they all want to have input, as well as know what everyone else in your neighborhood thinks.
Business today…especially on the Internet…is a bit like having the whole family together for a holiday. The ability to share thoughts, ideas, and feedback has reached an entirely new level. So how do you offset Uncle Fred’s “It’s not the turkey dressing that your grandmother made” with Cousin Louisa’s ” I love the fact that the turkey dressing was not only delicious but made with organic, healthy products”?
Soft sell, not hard sell, helps you make the genuine connection. When your company’s employees, along with everyone in your community, are in collaboration…problem solutions, in addition to new products and services arise easily and effortlessly. Maybe you can’t please Uncle Fred…or maybe he’ll agree when he really sees what benefits he gets from a delicious, but different, healthy turkey dressing.
So…how do you use social media in your business to work with Uncle Fred, Cousin Louisa as well as your whole community, using their feedback and perspective productively? Let’s look at the components:
- What knowledge do you and/or your company possess that brings customers and prospects to you? How can you build on that knowledge with employee and customer interaction?
- What do you do with the information you get from feedback? How do you evaluate it and determine its overall customer value? What criteria helps you sort out and understand how to use social media to accomplish your goals and objectives?
- How do you interact with the people who provide the information? Is it interactive, fun and rewarding for those in your community who are willing to participate?
Social media is word-of-mouth advertising. Word-of-mouth advertising can take a service or product viral, or it can send it to a quick and premature death. Before you decide on social media as a marketing strategy, make sure all of your company’s players are on board. You’ll need a full and interactive play-book, and rules of engagement to encourage everyone who participates to make the best better.
Social media is also a market research tool. Customer ratings, reviews, and discussion can help foster growth and development in any business. You may not be able to analyze exactly what comment from which customer…or employee…helped you see where your company or industry is headed, but you can find trends that show you how knowledge fits together.
Social media analytics can give you real insight into what your customers and prospects want now, as well as what they want you or your company to provide for the future. The products and strategies you develop from analyzing customer behavior and preferences can not only set you apart from your competition, they can catapult you into a market position you’d only previously dreamed about.
What makes this moment…this day…special is that you can set a path to differentiate you and/or your company. Use social media to gain followers who are active and participative, and help you create your future, rather than setting a criteria for immediate return on investment. Today…is different…and special because there are so many more opportunities to create successful and infinite possible futures.