Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, Orkut – the modern day enterprises are using social media like never before to stay connected with their customers. There is a tremendous amount of back and forth taking place on these channels. It wouldn’t be hyperbolic to say that these social media platforms witness a deluge of marketing tactics on daily basis.
But here is a great contradiction manifesting itself. While our social media marketing revolves around customer priority and centricity, we ignore customer in a very weird way. We tend to forget the ‘human’ part of our so-called ‘customer’. We forget that our customers possess and display same behavior traits on these online channels as they do in one-on-one interactions. The things that put them off in real world also annoy them in online conversations.
Author Francois Gossieaux puts it rightly that enterprises need to focus more on understanding humans and their social behaviors if they want to successfully leverage web 2.0. So let’s see what interaction goofs enterprises should avoid when talking to their customers on social media.
Don’t Be All-About-Me
It’s hard to stay put and listen to a guy who is self obsessed. Such guys keep on talking about themselves reveling in their own achievements. Such guys also end up with little to no audience. As an enterprise if you are doing the same thing on social networks stop it immediately. Your customers do not need to be reminded about your greatness. There is a good chance that they already know about you. Instead focus on asking them questions and getting them to talk. Encourage a dialogue instead of carrying out a monologue.
Don’t Stalk Your Customers
It’s one thing to keep track of your customers’ conversations. But following them like a stalker can freak them out. Do not force yourself onto them. Try to respect the fact that they do not want to get involved in an interaction right now and simply back off. Aggressively pursuing customers who do not want to engage today eliminates all possibilities of any future association. Additionally, you can earn bad review out of it.
Don’t Leave Things Unfinished
How would you feel if someone started chatting you up and then all of a sudden just got up and left? That’s exactly how your customers feel when you abruptly leave a conversation. Do not start an exchange with your customers if you do not intend to return to it. A blog or a tweet is not supposed to be a cliffhanger. Come back to it and respond to the comments that you receive.
Don’t Corner Your Customers
Human beings by course of natural behavior do not like to be cornered. The more you corner them the more aggressive they can get with their rebuttal of you. The best way to initiate an engagement with them would be to drop an initial hello, engage in small talk, send out a subtle reminder of your intention, and then move on to the next guy. Give them the time and space to absorb your personality and your message. Getting hinged onto their shoulders and biting their ear off will only make them less interested – just like in real life.
Don’t Be Repetitive
How many times have you found spark in a person during those initial conversations but then realized he was no better than an average Joe? The same thing can happen in social network interactions also. Try to avoid being repetitive (at least with the same set of customers) and keep them intrigued. Always strive to be fresh – in terms of content and promotions – for the sake of your customers. Remember that a story gets old faster in an online medium!
While there is nothing wrong in going gaga over the latest and greatest technology tools, let’s not forget that the purpose of these tools is to facilitate particular human behavior. So for a change let’s display the same level of courtesy that we usually practice in our real life conversations and see how well we are received on these social networks.