Social media should be used to show your potential and existing customers that you care. What does it mean to care? Care is to pay serious attention or solicitude. As I have often professed, social media is a primary vehicle for brands to grow and strengthen relationships. I am sure you know this already, but the best way to build strong relationships is to show you care. True in your personal life, right? Well it is no different in brand/customer relationships.
I often think of a boss I had about 10 years ago as a role model in many aspects including his ability to demonstrate true caring for his team. This was at a time when I managed a mainframe product line and Kevin McHugh was my boss. Kevin had a stressful position. He was heading the technology group for a company that was focused on transitioning from a technology product companyto a professional service company. Kevin worked his butt off … long hours … long days. He was respected by all. Whenever I went to him to discuss something, he was always receptive and welcoming – even when he had a million things going on (always the case). “Sure, come in. What’s on your mind?” These were his words and his overall demeanor. He always made everyone feel like “I am here for you, whatever you need.” When the company cut back on expenditures, he opened his house up for team appreciation party. This is the type of person Kevin was. He always conveyed, “I care” in actions and words.
So where am I going with this and where does social tie in? I know your work world. It is crazy. We are all dealing with a professional world of constrained resources and never enough time to do what needs to be done. And now social has emerged as a viable marketing platform … how the heck do you add something else to your to-do list?
You have to! If you want your customers to know you care, you have to make time to engage with them. I use the example of Kevin above, because it highlights an emotional bond. His willingness and openness to be there for a discussion when I needed him, independent of all the other stuff going on around him, made me want to work hard for him and deliver results. I would climb a mountain for him.
Don’t brands want exactly that? An emotional bond and commitment? Brands – you can have it. You just need to show you care and are willing to take the time to engage. Just like the personal relationship – put some time in, you’ll get some positive results.
So let’s break down C.A.R.E. a bit and see what is required in a social context …
C – Consistency – you need to be consistent in your commitment to listening and communicating. Set specific time aside on a daily basis to monitor the conversation and be prepared for ongoing two way dialogue.
A – Anticipate – in addition to listening to your audience and hearing what they want to talk about, anticipate emerging and soon to trend topics relevant to your brand and interest of your audience. This is the opportunity to build yourbrand perception as the subject matter expert.
R – Respond – answer questions not only pointed at your brand, but to any question poised relevant to your brand’s space.
E – Engage – in the conversation. Search for specific keywords and find opportunities to engage in the conversations that are happening. View this as your new brand networking opportunity.
Again and again … most of my recommendations on social media come down to simple hints that come from human relationship building. Simple human psychology. Today’s tip – show you care.Don’t make it more difficult than it needs to be.
Make It Happen!