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I have been thinking lately regarding the way we interact with each other online and especially in the social web. I find myself at times with a heavy daily agenda and certainly know others do as well. With that being said, I wonder of the attention spans and daily interactions of some are becoming shorter and more superficial. Let’s be real, some interactions in the social platforms are very involved while others are very light and seemingly meaningless; also perceived as a complete waste of time.
The fact that one can perceive an interaction with another as a complete waste of time and that some do waste time online should not be confused with what our customers are expecting from us as the “brand” they are interacting with.
By now, it goes without saying, that the social platforms and web allow us as brands to cultivate relationships with our current and future customers. Customer loyalty hasn't always been recognized as super important to all of us as brands and developing a measurement for this has been tough other than point of purchases. This is no longer true ladies and gentlemen. Those of you that have designed and implemented a strong social media strategy can now locate your most loyal customers. These are your brand advocates who actively encourage others to purchase from their favorite brand: YOU.
How are you doing with this effort? Do you as a brand understand that you need to create a genuine relationship with each customer? It is just amazing now that customers now have more power to voice their opinion about you as a brand and business. This will happen whether you are participating or not and in my opinion, the customer truly is the one who owns your brand today. In many cases, customers are treated as something to convert, make the sale and then on to the next. It is something I never agreed with myself and never conducted business in that manner. Let me say if you are conducting business in this manner it is no longer good enough. Why not take a genuine and honest effort to find out what they are about. What are their interests? How can you truly be of service? What makes them tick?
We hear it every day at some point that we as brands need to be more active and engaging with our current and future customers. It is time we use the social web to create more long term relationships. Those who will continue to look at social media as just another broadcast type tool, you are going to have a hard time. We as digital marketers have a ton of choices on how we will treat and engage with our audience. Those who currently are looking at customers as a number will continue to find themselves with less and less business as the month’s progress. A better idea would to understand how each customer wants to be communicated with, get creative with your engagement and build a long term relationship. Everyone deserves and wants to be treated as an individual.
So those of you out there that view the social web platforms as a “time waster” and don't have much value I hope to change your opinion. As brands, it is up to us on how we interact with our current and future customers. This is fast paced and there can be many distractions for both sides.
The bottom line, you will only stand out if you concentrate turning EVERY interaction into a meaningful experience for both the customer and you as the brand.