Chris Abraham Talks about the 15 Essential Tips for Engaging Customers via Social Media
For those of you who don’t understand social media, this is a must-read post from Chris Abraham. I am only posting an excerpt so you will have to go hit MarketingConversation.com to get the rest of the 15 tips that Abraham is talking about.
Why am I talking about this? Because so many people come to me about social media to ask:
1) why is it important?
2) what can it do for me?
3) how do I use it?
4) why do I need it?
5) I have facebook, isn’t that enough?
6) why do I need to talk to my clients or customers?
7) isn’t my product enough?
The last one gets an emphatic NO! If your product, business, face, name were enough, then you would be Donald Trump and even he has a television show and runs ads too. He knows the value of social media, just as Arianna Huffington does. There is a lot of value in using digital and social media techniques, tools, and campaigns. The point is that your company, product, client, and name become more visible and thus increase the reach of the product/client/company/name and consumers realize that. It doesn’t require commercials or expensive ads in print magazines (and how many magazines are dying out there…?). By using social media, you cut your marketing costs by up to 63%. However that doesn’t mean just hire a blogger and toss up a facebook page and walk away. It’s a total commitment that you and your company/client/brand/product must make to engage- and keep on engaging. You can’t wait for people to call you- you need to pick up the phone and call them. It’s that simple. Social media is relatively simple, it gets complex when you have to define and delineate what you want to achieve and then find the right assistance (that’s like Abraham Harrison or me) to create a strategy and implement that strategy and teach you how to do some of that implementation because you need to learn the basics so that you can leverage up to the next level– because you do want to grow and increase your exposure and bottom line– right?
Anyway, back to Chris Abraham’s very astute post and here’s where you get to learn a few things about social media. If you have questions, feel free to ask me (or Chris). But realize you need to learn this because if you don’t, your product, business, or project could fail or not do as well because you aren’t employing the best of what’s out there in marketing techniques. It’s like driving your car in second gear or with the brake on– you will get there but others will get there before you.
From Marketing Conversation.com
Since they were both so popular on their own, I decided to combine 10 Essential Rules for Engaging Customers via Social Media and 5 More Essential Tips for Online Social Media Brand Engagement to offer you the complete ball-of-wax in one place. Here’s the 15 Essential Tips for Engaging Customers via Social Media:
1.Don’t play favorites in social media: everyone germane to your brand now has a platform and a voice online. The “A-list” is just one constituency, and not always the most influential. The “B-to-Z List” is enormous, active, and very influential to their audiences; treat them with full respect
2.People are busy online so respect their time and respond to their requests immediately: respond to anyone who engages within the hour, no matter who they are, if possible. If they’re being neutral or positive, it shows respect; if they’re hostile or contentious, an immediate response can prevent a war and win them over
3.Do not pour all of your resources into top influencers: find a way to engage through the long-tail (This one is pretty key. Do not ignore the little bloggers and word of mouth of consumers. SW)
4.Remember that you’re always in public when you’re online: not only your tweets and blog posts are public; whenever you email someone or connect with them via DM or via private message, it just takes a simple copy-and-paste for any and all of your correspondence to go public online. (always assume everything you do might very well end up on the front page of the New York Times)
5.Always be responsive, timely, generous, and friendly: always engage horns with hugs. Irony and snark does not work. If you are every accused of anything untoward, accept, apologize, and move back to solving the issue
6.Keep as much of the conversation online and in public as possible: while you may be tempted to bring the conversation offline, keep all of it online until the point you need to exchange personal data and account numbers
7.The primary value of online customer support is being publicly generous and responsive: don’t just pop in and pull everyone who engages with you onto the phone, into email, or over to a private direct message but take the opportunity to spend as much time as you can having a public, open, friendly, and helpful conversational back and forth. (It’s about being publically helpful. See and be seen being helpful. If it helps someone else, what does it hurt you? Not a darn bit in my book and that could gain you a client or a consumer SW)
8.Engage online and in the public eye for for as long as you can: great advice from Zappos’ Thomas Knoll: why rush the open ticket to closed? Why not spend the time to actually build rapport? This isn’t a call center proper. Why not keep folks chatting back and forth for as long as they’re interested?
9.Never turf any question or query: never drop someone a link when you can write/talk them through it and please, never, ever, tell them to look it up on Google or send them to an FAQ.
Each question is an opportunity to engage and teach (and also be seen engaging and teaching) ( the last bolding is mine. SW)
10.“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”: this is a quote from the philosopher Philo of Alexandria (20 BC – 50 AD) that we at Abraham Harrison live by. When folks online snap, are mean, short or even angry, we know it is never really at us. Everyone’s busy and has a first life and we just wander into somebody else’s messes. Our only job is to be as helpful, responsive, nice, generous, patient, and friendly as humanly possible
There are five more essential tips you need to know— and they are smoking hot. I bet some of these look pretty obvious — but then again, if they are obvious, are you implementing them? If not, why not? If you are, what kind of results are you getting? If you are getting good results, what new ideas could you implement to expand the reach? If you aren’t getting the results you would like, what are you doing to change the methods you are using?
Thank you to Chris Abraham for allowing me to post this and I read virtually everything he writes and posts on blogs, facebook and twitter. Why? Because I believe you can never stop learning.
Stevie Wilson, LA-Story.com
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The rest of the 15 tips are here at MarketingConversation.com