While social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter grow at staggering rates, companies are struggling to find value in these social media sites. Afterall, if this is where your customers hang out, surely you need to be there to sell to them. Right? Wrong!
If you’re approaching social media as a “way to sell” then you’ve got it all wrong. Companies need to look at social media from their customer’s perspective, and see it as a “way to buy.” Your customers are not using social media to be sold, they may, at times, use it as a source of information and support to help them buy.
Helping Your Customers Buy
- Be relevant. First and foremost your social media presence should focus on being relevant to your customers. Offering the information and products they want, when they want it, and how they want it. It’s really about customer advocacy, which builds trust, and trust leads to longer and stronger customer relationships. The number one issue for email unsubscribes is relevancy, and it would stand to reason that same issue will hold for all communication channels.
- Set clear expectations. Using social media to help customers buy is all about expectations – setting them, and meeting or exceeding them. Be sure you let customers know what type of information they’ll receive and how often; and stick to those parameters.
Blending Push and Pull
By combining the push of messaging with the pull of information and interactions, social media can be used to help build customer relationships:
- Push – News & Events
- Push – Product Information & Promotions
- Pull – Customer Dialogue & Insight
- Pull – Customer Support (SalesForce.com Social Media Integration)
The “pull” activities are more resource intensive, but that is where trust and loyalty will really be earned. Stop using social media to sell, instead find ways to use it to help customer’s buy.