November 8, 2013
Relationships with our customers are no longer transactional, but sustained over a lifetime.
Here are some statistics presented at Open World about social media and the connected consumer that blew my mind:
- Socializing is the #1 online activity
- 91% of adults online use social media regularly
- 40% of people do more online socializing than face-to-face
- 42% of Facebook users have mentioned a brand in a status update
- By 2017, CMOs will spend more budget on IT than the CIO
The real message here and one that was repeated time and time again, is that relationships with our customers are no longer transactional, but sustained over a lifetime. Your customers want to feel the love. Every touch point or lack thereof, makes an impression and influences their perception of your brand. That sort of thing really sticks! As Lars Silberbauer, the Global Director of Social Media for the Lego Group said in his presentation “the customer’s perception is your reality [...] The social media landscape is never empty. If you aren’t building relationships with your customers, your competitors will.” These real time interactions are so important and make all the difference. Social media may not be the end point where transactions take place, but its influence plays a huge role in the customer’s buying process, with a whopping 90% of all purchases being influenced by social media.
So what’s the best way to be successful in social media? Mr. Silberbauer identified the following 4 things as the key to success:
- Be timely
- Be relevant
- Be brave
- Be honest
I think the last bullet points are the most interesting. Be brave – take a risk, be innovative, bring a smile to your customers’ face in the most unexpected way. Take this example from Lego’s Facebook page - I like that!
Be honest. Not unlike any other relationship, honesty is key. Be transparent in your client communications, directly address negative feedback or difficult questions or just simply always be true to your brand. Honesty in your messaging fosters trust and a leaves you with a customer who is interested and engaged with your brand. But remember, building up a rapport doesn’t happen overnight. Invest the time and energy and build your client relationships from the ground up, one block at a time.
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