When business owners and entrepreneurs talk about social media, the focus tends to be, almost exclusively, on how they can use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other platforms to get their messaging out. It’s true that understanding, producing, and sharing relevant content is very important, but it’s not the only thing we should be focusing on.
The saying we’ve been given two ears but only one mouth is a reminder that listening can be at least twice as important as talking. This is especially important where social media is involved. Paying attention to what the public is saying to or about your brand can do many things, including:
- Identify what your company does well & is known for
- Identify areas of operation or messaging that need improvement
- Reveal in greater detail the personality and unifying characteristics of people who love your company
- Reveal opportunities as the public discusses what products/services they’d like to be able to buy from you
- Enhance both your customer service & your reputation for customer service
- Provide content for future marketing campaigns
Let’s talk about that last one. Testimonials, as you know, are some of the most powerful forms of word-of-mouth advertising. The most valuable testimonials are those that come from the potential buyer’s family and friends: people they know on a personal basis. The rise of social media has greatly enhanced the number of connections the typical person has, extending the reach of testimonials exponentially.
Some people, as a result of their celebrity status, have an even greater reach. A great example is Pauly Perrette, who you may know as Abby from NCIS. Here are two tweets from Ms. Perrette’s Twitter stream this morning:
- Prior tweet: I got plowed at full speed by guy running a red light. In pain but I only drive @VolvoCarsUS so I’m alive
- My old car is totaled. So sad My beloved car saved my life. THANK GOD I DRIVE @VolvoCarsUS I’m crying over my Volvo. Love
It will be interesting to see what Volvo does with these Tweets. At a minimum, they should acknowledge and retweet them. Another opportunity exists for incorporating this messaging into other advertising campaigns. There’s certainly room in both Volvo’s TV and print advertising – which often focuses on superior safety as the brand’s key appeal – for Ms. Perrette’s tweet to appear.
As small business owners and entrepreneurs, we want to follow a similar model when our customers – celebrity or otherwise! – praise our products. Strategically sharing the appreciation is a smart, powerful marketing technique. But you can’t do it if you’re not listening to your customers on social media. Make