As you have heard me say before, it is important that small businesses begin using social media. Large companies are using it to have conversations with individual customers, to thank them and to solve problems for them. The problem for large companies is that they have so many customers that it is not possible for them to address every issue with every customer within the confines of social media. Their customers get the ‘not so personal’ attention of the much dreaded big customer service departments.
This is where the small business owner has a huge advantage. Your customers are able to get personal attention from you, the owner of the business. Customers appreciate that and will speak highly of you and your business when they feel you appreciate them.
This is where listening is important. Social media is a conversation broken down into short statements, but it is a conversation nonetheless. Being a good listener is a big part of conversation.
It is only by listening that we learn how our customers feel about us and our business. It is by listening that we are able to publicly resolve issues that our customers are having. And, it is by listening that we are able to publicly let our customers know that we appreciate them.
So, how to we listen with social media? On Twitter, for example, there is the obvious way of just seeing what they are saying as it is being posted but, let’s face it, that’s sometimes impossible to do. Many posts can go by without you seeing them and if you are not following the commenter, you will not see them at all. A better way would be to search @YourName. By doing this, you will be able to see what anyone says rather than just those that you follow. If you are not following them, this gives you the opportunity to not only follow them but also to respond appropriately to their comment.
So, you are listening, right?! If not, get started. It will make a huge difference in your social media endeavors.