Ask just about any rock 'n' roller or comedian and they'll attest that the key to being successful in show business is getting to know your audience. The same is true for social CRM strategy.
Reaching out to customers via social media channels requires that organizations understand their customers. A good way to start is by doing some research and finding the answers to these simple questions: How do our customers prefer to get the news and information they need? And how can we reach and interact with them on through that channel?
The traditional ways of reaching customers -- print media, television and radio -- might not be the right fit for your target audience. More and more folks today, regardless of age, are getting their information from Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, though this is especially true for those under 30.
My 24-year old son doesn't watch TV, read newspapers or subscribe to magazines; yet he is intelligent, informed and well-employed. He gets information via his phone, and he is a professional with money to spend -- Money to spend on your products and services.
We no longer carve communications into the side of a cave wall. Evolve, please. Or become extinct.
Now, let me tell you about my other son, who is 17. He is in an online high school and already in a professional position with a major U.S. theatre company. He is followed by several social media heavyweights on his Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. He also does not watch "traditional" media, instead opting to receive news alerts and any other information he needs on his phone.
These examples offer insight into the communication preferences of your customers and future customers. I once asked that 24-year-old if he was reading the emails I sent him. His reply? "Yes, but I only look at my email for you and my older professors." Ouch! I have been texting a whole lot more ever since. Organizations that find an increasing interest in Twitter among their clientele will need to react the same way.
On the other end of the spectrum is my 83-year-old mother. If I need to communicate with her, it is best done in person, on the phone or sometime during Wheel of Fortune.
There are so many platforms, so little time, and sometimes very little money to spend -- especially at smaller companies. I wish I could tell you it is all going to be okay and you can pick just one platform and use it to reach customers. But that approach to social CRM strategy no longer works.
It can all be somewhat daunting, but if your company gets started now, you will be light-years ahead of your competition. Here are some more initial steps that can help ease the transition into the age of social CRM strategy:
For more on social CRM strategy
Read the Whatis.com definition of social CRM
Learn more in this social CRM special report
Tips for an effective social CRM strategy
- Figure out exactly who the customers are that the organization wants to attract.
- Discover what their communication preferences are, and remember that it never hurts to ask.
- Learn how to use those communication platforms effectively and don't be afraid to use multiple platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and whatever they invent in the future.
- Do not tie social media platforms together. Each one should be used a little differently than the others. For example, Facebook is more casual than Twitter. Twitter posts are shorter than Facebook posts. LinkedIn posts are more professional than the other platforms' posts. The list goes on.
- Make sure your website renders well on mobile devices.
There are millions of future customers just waiting in the wings for your product or service. We no longer carve communications into the side of a cave wall. Evolve, please. Or become extinct.
About the author:
Dayna Steele’s business card says she "creates rock stars." She is the CEO of YourDailySuccessTip.com, author of the 101 Ways to Rock Your World book series, a rock radio Hall of Famer, and proud mom to three sons. Follow her on Twitter @daynasteele.
This was first published in August 2013