What do your “Likes” mean to you? When we “like” our favorite product on Facebook, we’re not simply telling everyone in digital land what our interests include. No: what we expect from those “Likes” is the interpersonal relationships we experience every day with comments, shares, pokes, and whatsits. “Liking” a brand on Facebook means a lot more to us when companies are willing to reciprocate.
This is what we expect – but are the companies behind our favorite products willing to give us what we want? Some go to great lengths to interact on a personal level with the customers, but others seem content to wile away their posts with trivial product details or self-serving advertisements and promotions.
For many businesses, direct communication with the social media audience is infrequent or rare. A Facebook user is operating on Facebook time – we expect a response within 24 hours. The average tweeter expects a response within two hours of sending a tweet. If your brand isn’t grokking this reality, you could potentially lose your followers’ interest – and, more importantly, their trust. Lost trust = lost business.
Social media isn’t just an easy way to get recognized – it’s a means to connect with your customers on a level that traditional advertising and engagement methods simply can’t provide. Can a magazine ad talk or interact with your customer? No. Through social media, businesses are able to develop trust and customer faith in a way that was never possible without it.
Just recently, Jet Blue released a YouTube video that explained that a major snowstorm was causing flight delays. The surprising thing about the video? The company’s CEO made it himself. This level of dedication is what causes your customer to trust in you and continue their patronage. Like the song goes, “in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”
Providing genuine customer service takes real commitment – and these days, no business can really afford to have a customer service strategy that ignores social media. Whether you have an in-house team or you rely on the services of a capable Internet marketing company to manage your brand’s social media engagement, your company is responsible for guaranteeing some level of personal engagement with consumers that choose to reach out to you.
Lately, Nintendo has been connecting with their clients through a series of web videos that discusses recent developments in the company and announcements of future releases. These videos are pleasant, informative, and genuinely interesting. This kind of strategy makes your customers feel like they’re being let in on your brand’s secrets – and helps them to understand the time and effort that goes into producing the best possible products for their hard-earned money.
Make sure you read what people say when they reach out to you through social media. They want quick responses to their problems, complaints and compliments alike. But most important of all, they want to have fun with you. If someone tweets a joke your way, you want to joke right back.
Another thing: a little friendly competition never hurt anyone. Why not send a silly tweet to one of your competitors? It shows the personality behind the brand – and that’s what today’s consumers like to see.
The spirit guiding today’s customer service is promptness and amicability. Through social media, customers receive help or attention so intimate that it feels no different than walking next door to trouble a neighbor for a cup of sugar. They want that familiar feeling. They want to trust you. If you aren’t using social media to develop this level of trust, then you aren’t doing it right.