Lasting relationships are built on trust and that doesn’t happen overnight. Your company’s behavior on social media platforms sets the tone for how your customers will behave with you. In this video tutorial, digital and social media strategist Martin Waxman offers tips on how to use social media effectively to nurture customer relationships by helping, not selling.
- [Voiceover] Many people believe social media speeds up the relationship-building process, and that's true to a point. Lasting relationship are built on trust, and that doesn't happen overnight. As they say, actions speak louder than words, and your behavior on social platforms sets the tone for how your customers will behave with you. All relationships are based on give and take, something called reciprocal behavior.
If I give you something, you'll probably give me something in return. A simple example of this is holding the door open for a person, chances are they'll say thank you. That's why you should always start a relationship by giving first, not taking. Let's go back to my Dad's fabric and drapery store. When a customer walked in my Dad never said can I help you, because when you do that people often become self-conscious and then leave without buying anything.
He knew they had to settle in first and get comfortable, so what he did was start by saying hello, then he'd watch them, listen to their questions, and when he had a pretty good idea of what they were looking for he'd strike up a conversation and start to help. The same is true in social media. Instead of pouncing on your customers the moment they land on your webpage or content, ease them into it. Try to watch their behavior, and then engage them.
Unlike many marketing channels, social media is two-way, which means you can actually chat with a customer or a potential customer and they can respond. You don't want the first thing to come out of your mouth to be a marketing message. So, how do you build relationships? Here are three tips. The first is help, don't sell. Put your customer first, otherwise they feel like they're a commodity.
On social media, that means thanking them for a tweet, or reposting some of their content rather than just broadcasting your own. Tip two is hard for many businesses to understand, that is yes, you're there to make a profit, but don't ever use a hard sell on social media, and be careful with the pop-ups on your site, don't scare people away when they first arrive. Before you post ask yourself, are you a helper or a huckster? And if you're the latter, tone it down.
For the third tip, do something extra for your customers to show them how much you care. On social media, you can do that by writing a post on Facebook about all the wonderful charitable work your customer does in their spare time, add a photo and it really stands out. Relationships that go beyond a transaction can turn your customers into ambassadors, and that takes an investment of your energy. Like dating, it requires a lot of finesse.
Remember, social media may be fast, but long-lasting relationships still take time.
- Using social media to listen to customers
- Setting goals
- Crafting a social media policy and a plan
- Creating shareable content
- Measuring your social media success