Social networking is not about farming followers, it’s a way of cultivating relationships.
And social commerce is all about building relationships. Social media gives a business or brand the ability to turn communication into interactive social conversations. Anyone eager to create an online presence can take static or one-way communication and turn it into a vibrant, dynamic, and energetic conversation. Ones that trust and relationships are built from.
Social media opens the door to deeper, more meaningful conversations; allowing businesses to share meaningful, relevant messages consumers seek and all in real-time.
Before we get to these great ideas to create or improve social conversations, lets first review some frequent misconceptions about social media. Social media is NOT:
About being on Facebook. Or Twitter. Those are platforms and not the end state. The end state is about customer engagement.
About being a big brand. When creating social conversations, the size of the business doesn’t matter.
About being the first mover in adopting new technology. That has value, but is it what you want your customers to talk about? We think not.
In order to create meaningful social conversations, you must first open the lines of communication. Below are 15 ideas for creating social media conversations that captivate and inspire your online community!
It is less costly to keep existing customers than finding new ones. So focus conversations on current customers. They are not all alike either, so watch for your priorities.
Think about the stories that you were told as children. They are etched into our subconscious. Use pictures and videos to tell your stories in creative new ways. Ways that will be remembered and talked about. Stories are sticky.
Always put your priority on your service, not your products.
Every successful brand has a specific culture. One that relates to the brand’s personality. And yes, of course, a brand has a distinctive personality. Decide what personality you want for your brand and build your culture around it.
Keep it simple
It is difficult to be heard above all the noise in the marketplace. So grab attention and hold it with simple messages.
What do you want customers to remember?
Plan your conversation topics on the interests of your most important customers. It’s not about you and rarely about your business. Will your conversations be remarkable enough to be talked about? That is your goal.
Monetary value or conversation value?
Here is the question. Who are your most valuable customers? The ones that spend the most? Or the ones that create the newest customers for you? It turns out that both are needed. Target both.
Random acts of kindness
Nothing works better than a simple surprise act of kindness. Do something that will make a difference and be talked about.
Relationships are key
Social media is all about building and exploring customer relationships. Continually look for new ways to engage. Remember engagement is a two-way street.
Turns out that the happiest customers drive retention and conversations. Are you committed to making your customers happy?
Remember that 80–90 % of conversations happen offline. So pay attention to customer conversations in the store.
Do more than customers expect … but don’t go overboard.
Everything business is conversations
Create interesting topics that are conversation-worthy. Plan ahead and stay up on interesting and current topics in the media.
Use techniques that permit customer collaboration. Ask for their explicit opinions and recommendations. Set up simple polls and opinion surveys on topics of customer interest.
Try new ideas as pilot projects on a small scale often. What works build-out in scale.