Relationship Marketing: It’s about Engagement, not Broadcasting. If there is one thing that ticks me off more than anything with Social Media it is the people who are abusing it. I’m sure you’ve seen the type.
They take their “stuff,” whatever that is, in the form of text, video, audio or whatever blather they have, and they simply broadcast to a list of as many people as they can buy. When the message is sent, they don’t care about the needs of those receiving the message. They only want to get their ideas sent to as many people as possible.
This “broadcast approach” demonstrates such a blatant lack of respect for others. Companies who do this, are like the people I’ve talked about many times before who have “I” trouble. Not “eye” trouble, but “I” trouble — they can only talk about themselves.
Fortunately, the market has a way of dealing with those obnoxious, overbearing “broadcasters.” People can quickly move on to another topic, delete their message and even unfriend and unfollow them. If someone continues to send out only self-serving messages, with little of value to others, they will see a continually shrinking size in their community. In the world of Social Media, this is a terrible fate.
Yet, there is a simple, but not easy, way to turn things around.
By engaging with customers and listening to what they are facing, you enhance your way of connecting with them. This is the way to do it. Social Media is not about you sending out your message to a bunch of folks. Hey, don’t you think those people have other things going on in their lives rather than just lounging in a hammock, eating cherries and waiting for your message?
Think about the problems they are facing and how you can help them. Yes, this requires some additional work, but it pays off in rich dividends of being there for people. Think about how you can help alleviate pain for them and help them solve their problems. That is the best job guarantee in the world.
To help you further with your Social Media progress, here are 5 steps which can enhance your engagement style:
1. Listen. Really listen and hear what people in your market are saying they want. Don’t just assume you know what they want. You have to listen to what they’re saying in their conversations. Listen to what is being said in Social Media. Listen to what is NOT being said — yes, this takes some skill.
2. Care. This is almost obvious, but needs to be mentioned. The old saying, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care,” is still valid today. Let people know that you really care by genuinely caring and putting that into action.
3. Empathize. Feel the pain they have and understand it. The more you can “get inside the other person’s skin” and understand the problem from their point of view, the better off you’ll be. They will know you “feel their pain” and respond accordingly to you.
4. Help. This needs to be done in a serious way. Help others to reach their goals and needs. Find where they need assistance and provide what you can. Be a resource to bring in others who can also assist in areas that are not your expertise.
5. Engage. This is the most important. Engagement means action is taking place. Think of it like Captain Jean Luc-Picard in the old Star Trek Next Generation series. They can put everything in place, but until they obey his bridge command to “Engage!” the powerful Starship Enterprise, will just sit where it is. As you engage with customers and involve them you’ll get more solid results for them — and for you.
Engaging with customers to achieve their goals is the key to Social Media and success today in business. And really, when you think about it, this is what business has always been about.
Leave a message in the comments (below) about how engagement is working for you. I look forward to hearing about your adventures in the land of customer engagement!