Social media provides you with fantastic opportunities to listen to your stakeholders.
Do you hang out where your customers are? Perhaps on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest?
What about your employees? They can be your best online advocates for your brand. Do you encourage them to use social media?
‘Social’ listening – to your industry’s influencers, prospective customers and even competitors, will help you discover what their needs are, whether they are happy or not, and generally what they are saying about issues that can help your brand.
For example, if one or more prospective customers raises a negative issue about a product or service they are using or investigating, this would be an opportunity to review your key messages to see that they are addressing the need/issue and then promote this fact.
This doesn’t necessarily mean using the same social media channels to respond directly, but be creative and think of other ways to reach them to communicate your new messages.
Another aspect of social media is that it allows you to closely follow your competitors and understand what they do to engage with their customers.
But don’t copy them; do it differently. You don’t want to replicate what they do – you want to do it better and build your brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.
The objective is to increase sales through greater lead generation.
So my advice is to listen carefully and use the knowledge gained to your advantage. Implement PR and marketing programs that are proactive and provide greater brand awareness.
PRO TIP: How to avoid eroding trust in your business
Trust is the key ingredient in virtually every business decision we make. With trust your business can prosper. When using social media you must be authentic and genuine to maintain trusting relationships. Deploy or hire people who know what they are doing and be cautious. There are many examples of campaigns that have been disastrous because they haven’t been thought through, such as #yourtaxis, #McDstories and #myNYPD, which turned hashtags into bashtags. And finally, humour is always a useful attribute when using social media.
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