Social media comes easy for many of us – you find someone you know, you friend them, they friend you, and – TADA – you’re connected. You might connect to a close friend, an old friend who you haven’t seen in awhile, or even your extended family.
The point is that this stuff makes sense to us, when we’re using our personal accounts to connect to … well … people. But what about business interactions? How do you represent your business or organization online, and make real and lasting connections with customers … online? In a status update box?
A bit trickier, huh? Here are three ideas to help makes those business-to-customer interactions start to connect:
Be pro-active. In your shop, you are seen in the store just by “being there.” Online, no one knows you’re there unless you do something. An easy way to “be seen” online is to set up some listening tools, like Google Alerts or a Twitter search or two.
Then listen to what people say about your organization. As questions come up, answer those questions. If something needs to be explained further, start explaining. Thank people for using your service or product.
Use typing to talk. Most of your online interactions will come from typing into a tiny status update box. It might be a blog post, a Facebook story, or a Twitter tweet. Maybe even a comment box. But if you want to create customer connections online, you will be starting conversations by typing into a box.
And that’s the key – actually working on having conversations. To do that well, make sure your typing sounds like your talking. Keep your typing informal, but focused on business. No need to be cute or funny – just be yourself, and make your typing sound like it’s actually you talking (read what you type out loud if you need to) … and start talking.
Provide the next step. Everything you post online should include a next step – the thing you want your reader to do after they read your post. A next step, or a “call to action,” can be as simple as asking people to click Like, leave a comment, or click the subscribe button. Or you can point to your stuff. For example, a library can include a link to a book in their library catalog, and ask people to click through to check out the book. A non-profit might point to their Donate Now page, and ask people to give $20.
Be proactive, type like you talk, and provide some next steps for your web visitors. Provide these helpful steps for customers, and and you will be on your way to making great customer connections.
Next post, let’s talk about doing the same thing using visual stuff. Stay tuned!