What is the most valuable, and yet underutilized resource in your business?
For most small businesses, it is your customers.
The Web Serves Consumers First
One of principles of the web is that it is works to serve consumers first and businesses second. So, as they move online in greater numbers, their collective voice will get even stronger, thereby creating disruption in every business sector, including the green industry.
This is why it is essential for your business to not only use social media, but to design your company around its influences. Customer service is no longer a one-to-one conversation with you and your customer. It is now an online public forum, and that scares most businesses. Nevertheless, it is reality and we all have to adapt.
Leverage the Collective Voice of Your Customers
If you are using social media primarily to broadcast your business message, you have undoubtedly noticed it being background noise to the increasingly powerful voice of the socially engaged consumers. Your challenge is to leverage that power by favorably engaging it with your business brand.
Unfortunately, research proves most consumers do not trust businesses. However, trust is something that can be earned. Here is a simple formula for earning the trust of your customers, and in doing so, building a process for better understanding and serving them.
- Provide Value – use your experience and expertise to be a valued resource
- Engage the Community – ask questions that stimulate discussion
- Facilitate the conversation – learn and discover new opportunities to serve your customers
Engage the Community
Online marketing works best when it is driven by the customer. What matters most is not your business message, but what your customers are saying. This is what lubricates the social networks.
Want to get your community talking? Ask good questions. Good questions are those that do not have a right or wrong answers. As a result, they encourage the sharing of honest and emotionally engaging perspectives. In other words, they free everyone in the community to simply be themselves.
Instead of focusing on their brands, smart businesses are learning to instead concentrate on using social media to better understand and serve their loyal customers, and in turn letting them own their brand. It’s a fundamental shift that when embraced builds a more engaged, relevant and profitable business.
It is indeed smart marketing in a digital world.
How are you using social media to better understand and serve your customers?
Leave a comment below – and share this with your community.
Until next time, Jeff