“Social media is the ultimate equalizer. It gives a voice and a platform to anyone willing to engage.”
– Amy Jo Martin
No business, no organization, no enterprise, no undertaking, and absolutely no startup can thrive if it doesn’t properly check the pulse of the social customer. If you’re not social selling, you’re likely not selling your product or service right. If you are not alive and kicking on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, or any social channel for that matter, you risk fading into oblivion. If you plainly choose to ignore the cues of social buyers and consumers, you will soon no longer have a venture.
Why should you keep listening to the social consumer? What makes them crucial, unavoidable, and decisive when it comes to the success of your product or service?
Here are six pivotal reasons why social buyers and social selling are extremely vital for your business.
1. Creating a positive ripple effect
According to Brian Solis, “Businesses are no longer the sole creator of a brand; it is co-created by consumers through shared experiences and defined by the results of online searches and conversations.” If the social consumer appreciates your brand or shares a positive experience with one or more communities, the news will soon spread across the network. In turn, the brand’s credibility continues to grow exponentially.
Think about it: Do you tend to listen more to your peers, friends, or acquaintances online about a brand than promotional advertising? Numerous studies indicate that most consumers do.
2. Cascading negative impacts
IDC mentioned six years ago that “the social customer, employee, supplier, and partner each have a voice and the means to use that voice at scale. And people are listening.” And it’s probably truer now than ever.
It can be disastrous when companies ignore comments, reviews, or negative statements about their brand on social media. Consumers expect to have their grievances heard and solved as quickly as possible. And if a company or brand fails to acknowledge or rectify a complaint, the news spreads like wildfire on the social landscape and can severely ruin any chance of recovery – tarnishing the brand image and leading to significant revenue loss.
3. Following the adage: Sow one, reap many; sow once, reap always
Last year, Gartner said, “90% of companies will be using social media for customer service” by 2020. To meet that objective, they must take action immediately.
The most fruitful benefit of social selling is that one happy consumer who can multiply your business in little or no time. Similarly, handling an issue with kid gloves and paying proper heed to the consumer feedback on social media will result in a long-lasting bond, repeat visits and purchases, and recommendations.
4. Showing up – every single day
The cure for a consumer’s short-term memory is simple: Show up every day, and show that every consumer matters. Without any meaningful, discernible presence in the social galaxy, complacency will set it and gradually eat away your bottom line.
5. Sustaining the brand name and the reputation
IDC estimates that the social technology market will top US$85 billion by 2019. How will you ensure your business stays competitive in this changing environment, even though it’s been an established leader for decades?
Social listening and monitoring are two instruments that can help track your brand in the social universe. A variety of social monitoring tools is available today that can make it effortless for a company to monitor its brand mentions and conversations on social media platforms.
What is the key to all this? You must listen – all the time.
6. Realizing that everyone wins with personalization
Nothing sells like a dab of exclusivity and uniqueness. Bestowing personal attention and offering customized services to the social purchaser confer early brownie points as well as late benefits to the brand. Surveys have continuously proven that social customers promise loyalty and solidarity to brands that provide a personalized experience and show genuine care about them. A sloppy attitude or a heedless move from your company can very well annoy them and tilt the scale towards your competitors.
What is the future of social selling? The answer is subtle, but the writing on the wall is elaborate. The social consumer is undoubtedly indispensable in a world that is exposed to a tsunami of information, opinions, and choices. Isn’t it time that you remind your consumers of not just your existence and exclusivity, but also your value – every time, all the time, and for a long time?
For more on building better customer experiences, see Our Digital Planet: See It, Click It, Touch It, Buy It.