Social media platforms are not only changing the way we communicate and do business, they’re also changing our level of influence as customers and citizens.
Recent events in Egypt, Iran, and Yemen show just how quickly messages can go viral and how much these viral messages can impact world affairs. Social media has given the common citizen a louder voice and more power of influence than ever before. Political leaders who fail to hear the voices screaming through social media do so at their own peril—as evidenced this past week in the Middle East.
But the same warning applies to business leaders. Mantras like “the customer is king” have never been truer than today. Customers no longer need to take out advertisements in newspapers to voice their displeasure with your service or product—a method of complaint with limited impact. Now, one negative posting about your business on a site like Yelp can go viral in a matter of hours, much too quickly for business leaders to counter…and the consequences can be severe.
So what can businesses do to equalize the shifting level of influence? Learn to maximize social media in the same way your customers are.
Employ social media as you would a highly paid PR executive. Recognize that social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, and others create their own value. Their sphere of influence is your sphere of influence. Shift your customer relations position from defense to offense. Find out which social media sites your customers are using and take the fight to them. In Super Bowl parlance, Blitz! Blitz! Blitz!
Social media provides vast opportunities to market to your customers, but also to EARN their trust and business. Share with them why you do what you do. Show them why they are important to your success. Reward them for their loyalty. Respond quickly when you miss the mark. And most of all…show that you care.
There have never been more opportunities for positive customer interaction than now. Recognize the value of social media and your business will not only survive, it will thrive! You will avoid viral “days of rage” where customers call for your head on a platter. Instead, you’ll rise above your competitors, create customer loyalty, and build a brand to be proud of.
- April Gregory, is an Associate Writer at Smedio, a marketing strategist and founder of AG Coaching and Consulting Group. She is the creator of Business Booster Boot-camp, a success system for Entrepreneurs. April has invoked the successes of many including multi-million dollar producing spas to individuals in the United States Marine Corps. She is passionate about working with consultants, entrepreneurs and marketing departments.
The uses of social media can provide a number of benefits to business bottom line. One of those benefits is create relationships with their customers throughout the different stages.