Design Social Media Conversations to Solve Customers' Problems
The simple fact is that the gurus are wrong: Social media marketing isn't a revolution, it's a chance at evolution.
Social media challenges marketers to design conversations in ways that solve customers’ problems, not reinvent themselves, their businesses or marketing itself. Social media success depends on planning and executing ways to solve customers’ problems. The answer to selling more with social tools is founded in sparking conversations worth having — interactions that solve customers’ problems and prompt more questions.
“This idea that conversation has an innate value is simply incorrect," says author, speaker and leading branding consultant Jonathan Salem Baskin. "It doesn't. It never did.”
Baskin claims being relevant matters now more than ever. He also says staying relevant is the big opportunity social media presents. But Baskin warns that too many marketers are looking at customer conversations in a vacuum and not as an ongoing experience. That's an important point, because when your business is relevant to consumers, it's better equipped to help them understand their problems more clearly.
Think about your traditional marketing successes. It's likely many of them help consumers become better equipped to find the right solutions. They're more likely to return to your store, branch or website for more answers, products and services.
Social Media is Old School
Pioneers like Anchor Bank, Avaya and Jones Lang LaSalle are following customers, not trends. Their customers signal the “when, where, why and how” that powers technology decision making. These businesses are translating customers’ needs and responding by scratching their itches — and in the process earning more transactions. They're helping customers navigate themselves toward needed answers. Yes, with new tools, but in old ways.
Brainstorm gestures for your company that help solve your customers’ problems and make products more relevant. Start in areas of strength. For instance, AnchorBank focuses on helping customers get out of debt, learn about appropriate sources of financing, and prepare their “money lives” for divorces or marriages.
Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded the Google Affiliate Network in 1999, and has been selling for 18 years. Jeff is adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s business school, a social sales trainer and author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You. Most social selling trainers teach the value of engaging customers and providing relevant content. Then they demonstrate the technology. But no one tells you exactly how to produce leads and sales—using a proven, systematic approach to content. Until now.