Four expert insights on giving thanks to your customers all year round on social media
Social media exposes one of the biggest challenges to digital marketing success businesses face today. That is to break from a transactional mentality and shift into a relational mentality.
The transactional mentality focuses on getting. So a lot of effort is spent on getting fans, getting followers and getting likes. That becomes a measurement toward acquiring new customers. Getting new customers is important. But it is equally important to give thanks to the customers and influencers you have right now.
Saying ‘thank you’ has immeasurable power to build relationships, loyalty and word-of-mouth on social media. That’s why it needs to be more than a once-a-year consideration. Thank you marketing and social media marketing go hand in hand every day.
With that in mind, here are book excerpts from four marketing leaders that offer advice on how you can show your gratitude to customers on social media all year round.
Make a one-to-one connection
At its core, social media requires that business leaders start thinking like small-town shop owners. They’re going to have to take the long view and stop using short-term benchmarks to gauge their progress.
They’re going to have to allow the personality, heart, and soul of the people who run all levels of the business to show. And they’re going to have to do their damnedest to shape the word of mouth that circulates about them by treating each customer as though he or she were the most important customer in the world.
In short, they’re going to have to relearn and employ the ethics and skills our great-grandparents’ generation took for granted, and that many of them put into building their own businesses.
We’re living in what I like to call the Thank You Economy, because only the companies that can figure out how to mind their manners in a very old-fashioned way – and do it authentically – are going to have a prayer of competing.
Get personal, show empathy
We need empathy in the business world now more than ever, because people are being far more open with everything they share in public through social sites. When you look and listen closely, you’ll discover that most everyone at the core has very similar wants and needs – to be heard and understood, to belong, to know that they matter, and to make a difference.
That’s why it’s so important to use people’s first name. A person’s name is the sweetest-sounding word in his or her vocabulary, and it’s a huge part of that person’s identity. When you use a person’s first name in a natural way during a conversation (online or offline), you’ll instantly build more rapport and empathy.
On Twitter, make it a habit to take one or two extra clicks to scan a person’s bio before retweeting. Consider the following:
- Reply to a tweet with “thanks” – a very powerful word you will want to use as frequently as possible. In fact, “thank you” is even better, as it has the word “you” in it too!
- Use the person’s first name.
- Find something you have in common and ask a question.
- Share a little about yourself.
Use words that enchant
Words are the facial expressions of your mind: They communicate your attitude, personality and perspective. Wrong words give the wrong impressions, so heed these recommendations:
Use simple words. When you use words people have to look up in a dictionary or search for in Wikipedia, you’ve failed. As the Danish proverb goes, “Big words seldom accompany good deeds.”
Use active voice. Consider the impact of these two phrases: “Use the right words” versus “The right words should be used by you.” The passive voice is wimpy and inefficient. Enchanters use the active voice.
Keep it short. In ten years listening to entrepreneurs’ pitches, I’ve never heard one that was too short. If people are interested, they’ll ask for more information. If they’re not, providing more information won’t sway them, so use fewer words to express yourself.
Delight customers with the unexpected
If you can provide unexpected value to people on Twitter and Facebook and expect nothing in return, you can create “wow” moments that collectively will have impact on your business. Those vacation spots you recommended to others on Twitter will eventually have an opportunity to recommend you to their followers, for instance. Or if the articles you’ve supplied about loans are extremely helpful, these potential buyers may seek your assistance when purchasing a home.
Best Buy was the first large company to begin delivering unexpected value on Twitter in the form of answering people’s questions. It developed the “Twelpforce,” a group of nearly one thousand employees who were trained to respond to people’s questions on Twitter about electronics products. When one of these hundreds of staff people aren’t on the store floor helping an in-person customer, he or she is helping online customers or prospects – and answering any questions about electronics products, including products not sold at Best Buy.
Social media social skills win customers
All of these ideas have one thing in common. They take the focus off your immediate business need and place it squarely on the need of your customers and prospects. That requires developing the soft skills that build rapport and relationships with one-to-one interactions. On social media, soft skills are the new hard skills.
“Social media is about sociology and psychology more than technology.” – Brian Solis, Engage
When you say ‘thank you’ in all the little ways, in every post – every day – you are creating the social media word-of-mouth that grows your business.
Thank you for reading my post.