The phone rings but I don’t recognize the caller ID. But I pick the call anyway. It could be a prospective client. “Hello, I’m I speaking to Mr. Kimunya?” the caller asks in a not-very-confident voice.
This garage is trying to sell me an oil change and an oil filter for my car. The last time I used their services is months ago. I had gone in for an electronic wheel alignment.
I service my car every 5,000 kilometers per the manufacturer’s specifications. New oil, oil filter, spark plugs, air filter, brake alignment, and general inspection! For this, my regular mechanic’s cost is just a bit over what this garage is proposing.
At the eight-minute mark, it finally dawns on the caller that I am not interested in the service. Not to mention that I had indicated this two minutes into the call. Then, he makes me aware of their free vehicle check-up. I am at the end of my patience by this time!
Brand is not a product, that’s for sure; it’s not one item. It’s an idea, it’s a theory, it’s a meaning, it’s how you carry yourself. It’s aspirational, it’s inspirational.” ~Kevin Plank
1. Have Real conversations
Care enough to listen, don’t hog the microphone! Go down to the level of your followers or customers. Think about the time you have coffee with a friend. The moment they come in, there are high-fives, a hug, a kiss or shoulder bump. You don’t just dig in straight into a conversation.
Take time to welcome and know them. Your followers or customers are real people with a real need for social connection! They were even when you pitched your product, service or solution.
Having real conversation has nothing to do with managing a relationship. It is about connecting with people because you care.
2. Make love, not war
In the age of social branding, there is a significant shift in the brand balance. Before, brands have bamboozled with their ability at advertising, sales pitches and freebies. Not any more. Users now have the power to mute your advances or switch to another channel or medium.
“Social branding isn’t really about brand at all, or at least brand as we have known it – something to control, to measure, to systematize. That’s because our brand is not in our control. It’s our customers, our employees and all other people who think and talk about us behind or in front of our backs,” says Lance Shields.
Get cozy with your critical followers and customers. Be real with them. Humanize your brand and remember the power isn’t always in your hands.
3. Know your key audience
If the garage approached me for a free check-up, I may have just considered their offer. They could have also just asked me if I had any problem with my wheels’ alignment. yet, they just picked my number from their records and tried to up-sell a service to me.
Not knowing your audience is like shooting in the dark. What if there isn’t anything to shoot at in the first place? Or worse still, what if you miss a valuable customer?
4. Embrace social listening
It is free, well, the most part of it. I can’t define this better than the Social Media Examiner. “It is is about searching the web and the social space to see what’s being said about your company, your competitors and other topics of interest.”
Today no business should shy away from social media. This is where your customers congregate to discuss you and your business. You will understand their frustrations on what isn’t working. It gives you an opportunity to gather insights on who the influencers are.
What we do know is that for a business to be social, it needs social employees and perhaps more than anything it needs to move from product or service-centric to customer-centric. Because the root of social business is social employees that wake up every day striving to create better more meaningful customer experiences.” ~Daniel Newman, Co-CEO of V3B and 4 Time Amazon Best selling Author
Q: How are you creating better more meaningful follower or customer experiences? Have your say by clicking here.
photo: London Scout