Social media made the promise of giving brands and organizations a chance to get closer to their customer. Yet today we still see thousands of consumer complaints, questions and inquiries going overlooked and unanswered.
What’s with that? Obviously, brands are missing out on hundreds of engagement opportunities every single day.
Every month, LeadSift conducts a study identifying the number of buying-intent conversations on Twitter that go unanswered across a wide range of industries. It’s what we call the Missed Opportunity Index.
In a recent report, we identified $14.6M worth of social engagement opportunities that went unanswered by health insurance companies and a total of 353,374 missed opportunities in the automotive industry. Here’s a snapshot of those missed opportunities:
A 1% response rate? As marketers, we have a long way to go—opportunities to drive real results for clients and brands are right in front of us.
We’re stuck in the past, taking a passive approach to engaging with social media leads and prospects. But consumers want brands to reach out to them. Consumers want brands to help them with their issues.
It’s time for brands to step up to the plate and get back to the fundamentals of one-to-one interaction.
Today I give you the keys to a stronger relationship with customers. It’s a simple adjustment that can turn followers into advocates and advocates into ambassadors.
One tweak that can make a big difference
Seriously, just one teak can help you build stronger connections with customers. If you don’t believe me, here’s an example that played out between T-Mobile, AT&T and a customer:
After a series of tweets back and forth and the T-Mobile CEO tweeting directly to the potential customer, the choice was T-Mobile.
What followed was great PR: The media wrote about this story and it was shared thousands of times on a combination of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. All because these brands took the time to listen and act in an engaging way.
So how can you start? It’s quite simple.
Customers Want Brands Who Engage
Stop using social media as if it’s a billboard screaming your story and start using it like a phone where you have two-way conversations.
Marketers have been preaching this philosophy for years but haven’t truly stepped up to take their own advice.
When you consider how many engagement opportunities are still going unanswered, you can quickly see that we’ve yet to make the promise of social media a reality.
Marketers and brands are still using social media like they would use a billboard or a banner advertisement instead of focusing on engagement.
Sure, some brands like AT&T and T-Mobile are clearly engaging, but what about the other industries?
It only takes a few minutes on Twitter to come across a brand who has only tweeted about their sales and latest promotions for the past six weeks. It only takes a few minutes on Twitter to find a brand asking people to follow them instead of creating a Twitter account worth following.
Instead of constantly pushing out Tweets, it’s time to start looking for actionable engagement opportunities.
Set up Twitter streams that track keywords or use apps to identify the most relevant opportunities to engage. In doing so, you’re able to connect with your potential and existing customers when it’s appropriate.
You Can Find Customers When They Want You
A quick look at this graphic created by Pivotal Chicago shows the power of Twitter.
People are looking for your product or service. If you can find these people while they’re in the buying process, you can drive results. If you can clearly identify what stage in the buying process they are in, you can engage and help them get through the funnel faster
In the T-Mobile example above, the customer could have easily stayed with AT&T and forgot he had sent that tweet. But because T-Mobile engaged and pushed him to make the switch, they were able to ensure that this lead converted and became a customer.
And in the process, they built rapport with a potential customer and even increased the odds of creating strong loyalty to their brand.
Engagement Drives Real Trust
One-on-one interaction only works when you’re committed to thinking less like a brand and more like a human.
People don’t trust brands. They trust people. Establishing a tone that is human and relatable is going to increase your chances of connecting with your customers and building that sense of a customer and brand relationship.
If you think about the brands that consumers have the strongest relationship with, they’re typically the brands that focuses on emotion. It’s the brands that make us think about our own worldviews and challenge us to become better.
Through channels like Twitter and Facebook, the opportunity that was once only available to big brands with big budgets is now available to all.
It’s an opportunity to build meaningful relationships with customers while gathering insights that can lead to smarter marketing decisions down the road.
Think about that! The idea of interacting with a customer one on one has always been a dream for marketers. It’s now a reality.
We’re now able to connect with customers in a more effective and efficient way than ever before. We now have the ability to tell our story and establish a clear communication strategy that will drive results for our business.
The easiest way to figure out how to communicate with your customers is to understand them better. So do it:
- Take the time to understand your customers’ voice and spend time thinking about their psychographics and demographics.
- Look at what other brands they follow on Twitter and consider what content they’re most likely to share.
- Tap into these insights to reveal your brands voice and establish a tone that will resonate with your target audience.
Once you do that, you’re ready to start engaging. It’s this process that allowed T-Mobile to steal a customer away from AT&T in front of millions of people. That’s the power of social media and the power of one-to-one interaction.
Wondering how you can engage effectively and stop making it so awkward? Here’s a deck that should help guide you in identifying how you should engage on Twitter: