Marshall Loeb over at Fox Business recently posted an article including an interview with Dan Backus about how businesses can improve customer relations using social media tools. His comments are insightful and helpful but seem to be focused on a market research vein of thought, which is fine.
The most important thing that Dan suggests is that companies take a strategic look at social media to outline how best to use it. I couldn’t agree with Dan more with this caveat; don’t be afraid to take the jump into social media. Too often I see big businesses, my former clients included, far too apprehensive when it comes to making the jump into social media.
Dan also brings up the point that oversight and trust are major components of a social media. Asking your customers to make a jump into the social media world is huge leap of faith. At the same time once your customers are there you need to dedicate the resources to monitor their input and protect your corporate image.
Dan really stresses the importance of resource management when it comes to social media. He reminds his readers that if you are going to offer these services to customers you need to make sure you can deliver. If a company fails on a promise, even if that promise is to maintain a blog, customers can lose faith in that company.
I would like to add to Dan’s comments. Social media is a chance to add a face to your company’s customer relations. Use social media to reinforce the human aspect of what you are doing, show your customers that they are interacting with a live person. Something as simple as a picture or a bio on a blog can mean the difference between a social identity and social indifference.
I would also like to suggest that social media can offer you a more active face when it comes to customer relations. Imagine if I could add Hewlett-Packard’s customer support to my twitter feed. When ever I need help I could direct message them and start a conversation. They could also send me information about computer updates and security.
Do you have any social media ideas that businesses could use to increase their customer relations? Maybe online video tutorials in Youtube or online chat sessions about new products? These are just a couple of ideas and I would love to hear yours.