Social Media: A meeting place rather than a market place

The majority of businesses misunderstand the context of customer relationships when using social media and attempt to do the hard sell rather than seeking to engage and connect with customers. Businesses need to proactively use and market their social presence with platforms like Facebook and Twitter, ensuring social interaction with both existing and new potential clients at large.

In my opinion, the primary rule of social media interaction is less “selling” and more “engaging”. Through engagement people gain confidence and trust in a company or brand and will naturally feel more comfortable in doing business with them at some time in the future. This alone gains favour in potentially converting a non-customer into a long term loyal one.

One just has to follow some of the biggest brands and observe their social strategy. These brands post less about their products and services and more about topics of interest that help customers get to know the company’s people and ‘personality’.

Social Platforms like Facebook and Twitter essentially provide a company with their own broadcasting network. Simply put, engaging with customers is of paramount importance. It is no longer enough to limit your online presence to a website containing your contact details such as an email address and contact number. The social revolution has created the expectation that people want to interact and engage with businesses via their chosen means of communication, be it Twitter, Facebook, a forum or any other social platform adopted by them.

Historically a customer experiencing a positive or negative interaction with a company would share this in conversation with colleagues, friends, relatives and acquaintances. This word of mouth sharing would take days or even weeks reach a limited audience. With the advent of Social Media, a customer can distribute this information to friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter in minutes. Reaching a much larger audience and through the sharing function available on these platforms a sentiment about your company can go viral in a matter of minutes!

Come Alive are great believers that businesses (big or small) should have a place for social media. Ensuring the maximum exposure on these platforms is crucial. Email is the primary and most trusted method of communication for all business. By using Clikit Media’s Rocketseed Mail branding solutions, linking to these platforms is simple, cost-effective, less intrusive and always in sight of the email recipient.

One of our customers, who operates two franchised branches of Harvey World Travel (one of the largest travel groups in the southern hemisphere), makes use of Rocketseed Mail to standardise their branding for all staff. They also promote their Facebook pages within their branding, thus affording customers the opportunity to engage with them via social media at their convenience in a manner that is non-obtrusive yet effective. We have found this to be a highly effective manner of promoting these pages!

Sheldon Marais is the owner and Digital Master at Come Alive, a Digital and Online Marketing Solutions group. Sheldon is a highly knowledgeable digital marketing strategist and social media guru with a wealth of experience in helping businesses of all sizes build and establish their digital footprint. 
Twitter: twitter.com/ComeAliveSA
Website: www.comealive.co.za
Facebook: facebook.com/ComeAliveSA
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