From Bartering, to Blabbering, to the Little Bluebird that Revived Conversation
Meaningful Customer Conversation is What It’s All About
In the beginning, there were corner grocery stores where proprietors talked face to face with their customers about their goods. Then individual stores became national chains and managed by far away corporate offices where marketing messages were scripted and passed down to be passed on unaltered.
The result. Conversations dried up. Communication became one-way, controlled, and void of all authenticity. Remote marketing officers fell into the illusion that they were managing and maintaining customer relationships. Far from it.
Then social media shifted everything back to one great big small town. A new generation of communicators stepped in insisting their companies engage customers in real-time conversations on Twitter, Facebook, Four Square, Live Chat, and more.
Thanks to social media, customer-driven relationships are back, according to Gary Vaynerchuk, author of the Thank You Economy. Good marketers talk to their customers about life and how their passions or needs are impacted by their products. Less enlightened marketers continue to try to shove products down their customers’ throats with as little to no conversation.
Social media corporate stars such as V8, NY Jets, Martell Home Builders, Zappos, Southwest Airlines are succeeding despite the economy. Lagging companies such as AT&T, Zagat, Nestle that are not adapting to Web 2.0 fast enough or are screwing up their social media as evidenced by their shrinking marketshare.
To win at social media, Print 2.0 Vaynerchuck suggests:
- Commit to social media
- Set the tone by being real and throwing away the scripts
- Invest in employees
- Empower your people by opening a “Give a Crap” Department
- Get back to the basics using today’s technology to maintain one-on-one customer touch points (email, Twitter, white papers, Facebook, electronic coupons)
- Speak with passion and be truly interested. Customers can sniff out companies who try to fake it
- Talk to your customers as people vs. trying to pick their pockets
- Make your customers feel like royalty by responding to their every email
To humanize your company when using social media, use these five tips:
- Use Your Name. Putting a name (that’s a real, human name) on your blog posts, tweets or status updates shows your audience that you’re not a robot or an automated stream of sales pitches and company news.
- Add a Face. By putting a blogger’s photo or the picture of the communication team on your accounts you give followers an idea about whom they’re working with and who is behind the keyboard. If you prefer to use the company or product logo, you can still add real photos elsewhere under the meet the team or about us page.
- Connect with People Through Your Writing Voice. Now that they know your name and what you look like, let them get a sense of who you really are by your personality through your writing, posts, or tweets.
- Listen. Interact with your audience in the right way by really listening to what they have to say and how they say it. How do they interact with you? How do they interact with each other? Listening, as opposed to talking (or selling), allows you to connect with your customers.
- Remember Why You’re There. Participating in social media is a must, but have a clear objective as to why you’re doing it. Otherwise you’re just adding to the noise.
You’re on social media to listen, monitor, respond, fix problems, and build relationships with your customers. Don’t let the channel confuse you. Social media channels are just tools to get us back in pleasant conversation with our customers even though we may be continents away.
Add Your Comment Below.
about 22 hours ago - No comments
Social media is the marketing activity nonprofits say they need help with most, according to a free report from Constant Contact called the Nonprofit Pulse Report. More than 57% of the 307 respondents said they needed help with social media, followed by 36% with email marketing, and 35% with their nonprofit websites. Not surprisingly, 88% of More >
about 3 days ago - No comments
When Savvi Formalwear, a group of 35 independent formal wear retailers, wanted to connect with more soon-to-be brides, it chose the print and digital trifecta — direct mail, email and personalized landing pages. All of Savvi Formalwear’s direct mail pieces were personalized using variable data printing (VDP), with coupons or incentives such as the two free More >
about 1 week ago - No comments
When a Dallas-based advertising agency, VLG, needed to engage prospects, it opted to show off its interactive technology through a sitelet or mini-site. The sitelet used a mock company called Crescent Bluffs to demonstrate the amount of time VLG could engage the prospect in the demo. I was engaged for 1 minute 41 seconds. I took VLG’s More >
about 1 week ago - No comments
Awards make nice office decorations and offer bragging rights, but they mean nothing if the work behind them didn’t achieve pre-set objectives. Nine times out of 10 those objectives are financially focused – more customers, more sales, more donations, more buy in, more attendance and more orders. Mail Print earned five AMBIT awards at the Kansas City Direct More >
about 3 weeks ago - 1 comment
Nine times out of ten, a donor receives a letter that starts with, “Thank you for your generous donation.” Because giving is an emotional response, it deserves an emotional thank you with more pep and personality than a typical, status quo thank you. Read Shannon Doolittle’s 22 Delightful Ways to Say Thank You. Here’s a sample More >
about 3 weeks ago - No comments
Do you feel like you’re constantly playing catch up? If so it’s particularly hard to stay ahead of trends. We can relate; thus the reason we’re posting a 2013 marketing trends piece in late April. Take a breather and read the eight trends projected by Forbes and CIO Network magazines. 8 Marketing Trends Projected for More >
about 4 weeks ago - No comments
IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer, is rolling out an “IKEA Family” loyalty program. Specifically designed to keep the steam turned up on its integrated marketing channels (email, print, and social media). IKEA has a loyal customer base of 3.6 million people who opted into IKEAs database to receive specials, flyers and its annual print catalog, More >
about 1 month ago - No comments
Other than identifying a known brand name and automatically knowing the size of the company, have you ever thumbed through a publication or web portal, become impressed by a company’s logo or tagline, only to learn that this company wasn’t nearly as large as you thought? It happens to me all the time. I see More >
about 1 month ago - 1 comment
Mail is still first class in the eyes of 73% of consumers in America who still prefer to receive direct mail for brand communications. So despite all the press and pixels that social and email marketing get, direct mail is still tops in the eyes of consumers. Despite the exposure of digital channels, direct mail More >
about 1 month ago - No comments
Air New Zealand started in the ‘70s but is not stuck in the ‘70s. It knows batch and blast emails are a thing of the past. Instead of sending generic emails about promotions, it sends automated, personalized emails prior to, and upon return, of each of their customer’s flights. Air New Zealand transformed its entire More >