Claire Chapman

Claire Chapman:Social Media Specialist at Intendance Ltd : full service agency delivering creative online & offline communications solutions

Marketing Benefits of Running a Social Business

When I start reviewing Twitter accounts it can quite often be the case that businesses who aren’t used to working in the social media environment are using Twitter as just another outreach to their marketing content. You can tell these accounts as generally all they contain are updates generated by the feed from their news page or if they have one, their blog. Whats missing here is the social element to marketing your business online. The Chartered Institute of Marketing define marketing as “The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably. ”

When we make that social, we can see how we can create a more holistic approach which helps us to do this:

We can identify customer requirements when we run a social business by:
- Connecting with our customers and prospects online and Twitter
- Getting involved in their conversations with the focus on adding value and helping them out
- Listening to the language they use and what they like and dislike – what I have heard called the “unfettered conversation”

When we know all this through getting listening, and getting involved and being useful, it becomes much easier to anticipate customer requirements.
- We are already involved and hear what they are talking about
- We’ve got a relationship with them to be able to reach out and ask their opinions
- We can use tools like polldaddy to directly ask our twitter audience what they think, or use a link shortener to ask them using another online survey service
- We can see the response to what tweeps are interested in online, as a small tester for content that works and that we can create more of.

And as a result of all of this, we are in a much better place to satisfy our customer requirements. We are there when we hear things going wrong and are able to fix them, faster. We can use our contacts to put them in touch with the relevant people. And we have programs, products and content which we’ve taken the time to get feedback on, so we’ve built in ways to meet customer satisfaction up front.

Running a social business may not be the way you are used to working, but I think it adds a whole new level of engagement and discussion with your audience.

Comments

  • January 23, 2010

    Yes! I tell my clients this all the time. Customers do not just want to see your ads and specials, they want interaction as well. Be connected to your customers and build a stronger business.

  • January 23, 2010

    Not only this, there are many Non-Profits NGOs that have gained a lot of help from twitter and the social media networks…

  • January 23, 2010
    Laurie Creasy

    We’re working on this right now. I think the nonprofit sector is way ahead of business in this arena.

  • January 25, 2010

    Hi there

    Great to hear these comments: I know I saw a post the other day (I can’t remember the source unfortunately) which said you didn’t need to be social, if you were a business. However, I personally come from a view of it is good to build it in from the start – I often use an example of a firm who had a comment about them along the lines of expecting them not to comment – if that firm was listening in it would have been really easy to have that light touch and start a conversation. Then all of a sudden you are a real connection. And, we all do business with people we know and trust…

    Claire

  • January 26, 2010

    Great article. We have seen a lot of small to mid-size businesses to use our service tool to do exactly that. For more tips, check out our blog!

    http://flashtweet.com/blog/

  • January 26, 2010

    Great article. I am one of those they get “turned off” by un-sociable direct messages and tweets. I like to feel as if I were meeting that person or business face to face in person. The more personable and trusting you can be to your followers and potential clients/customers the better!

  • February 2, 2010

    Thanks for the tips. It’s so helpful to get the necessary advise to help our business flourish!
    Blesings…Rosario

  • February 4, 2010

    I find it interesting how people who have been in sales longer than the internet has been mainstream can tell you how people want to buy from their friends. Yet, older businesses do not translate what they know to a new medium.

    If you think of social sites like Twitter as building rapport, you will have a lot better chance when you ask for the sale. It has been said over and over. Loosen your tie, put on some jeans and TALK to people.

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