Social media and the new way people interact with each other on the web has changed the way businesses market themselves – or at least it should have.Today people want to get to know you before they buy.
They want to understand you, get to trust you and then they might want to do business with you.
Let’s go back in time for a moment. It wasn’t that long ago that your daily sales routine involved sitting by a telephone and cold calling a list of numbers.
Did that work? No.
How often are you glad that your day’s been interrupted by a cold caller? We all hate it so why do it?
I’d like to say those days are long gone but sadly there are a few companies out there that haven’t realized that that’s not the way it works anymore.
Why use resources so inefficiently?
All those people you have on the phone could be used in other ways – such as interaction through social media and enhancing your customer service.
What are the chances of one of those people on your list sitting at home (or in the office) thinking “I wish someone would call and offer me life insurance because I really need it and have no friends to ask for a recommendation of where they got their policy from”?
And should you strike it lucky and get a bite from one of your calls, is that one customer really worth alienitating yourself from the other 1999 you called that week?
I think not.
Today’s marketing is about building relationships and having conversations – and that’s what makes social media such a powerful marketing tool.
You may be shaking your head right now and saying “but how can I measure ROI?”
The truth is you can’t, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s not about a return on your investment, it’s about a return on the relationships you build.
Using platforms such as Facebook or Twitter will show people you are a company who cares about its reputation and its customers. More and more people are using Twitter to vent their anger when something goes wrong. If you’re a company that monitors it, picks up a problem and deals with it straight away you’re going to be seen as a caring company.
But if you’re not part of the conversation and their vent goes unanswered, it will probably lead to more dissenting voices until they become so loud you’ll be seen as a company that couldn’t give two hoots about your customers.
Forget the old sales methods – they don’t work anymore. Embrace social media, have conversations and listen to what your customers are saying.
Be open, be approachable and above all stop the cold calling – no one likes it.