Friday, August 3, 2012

(empo-tuulwey) Social Strategy Part 4 - Do You Like Your Customers?

Go to Part 3

I hope you see what I did. First I talked about the word "You." Then I talked about the word "Do." Next, I talked about the word "Like." Finally, I've put them all together and added two more words.

So, do you like your customers?

That is a critical question when working on a social media strategy.

If you like your customers, then you will be more inclined to interact with them and listen to them and engage with them and do all those wonderful things that social media experts tell you that you're supposed to do. More importantly, they'll be believable, and you'll have a community that likes you as much as you like them, and will be loyal to your brand.

If you don't like your customers, then any effort at engagement is doomed to failure, because you won't want to engage with your customers, and you won't want to build a vibrant community.

Does that mean that you shouldn't use social media if you hate your customers? No, it means that you may use social media in a different way - specifically, as a one-way avenue to push stuff out to your customers without expecting, or acknowledging, anything in return.

Um, excuse me - it looks like I just received an urgent tweet from an SEO guru. Let me share this tweet with you.

ur doing it wrong

If you ask any self-appointed SEO expert, he or she will tell you that using Twitter or Facebook to push out information without listening to the customer is very, very bad. You, the expert will state, are locked in twentieth century business models that are inappropriate for the new age of wonderment and magic, when loyal communities form around brands and their Twitter feeds and Facebook pages and Foursquare checkins.

With all due respect, anyone who loudly proclaims "You're doing it wrong" is...well, they're doing it wrong.

While I happen to believe that two-way engagement is better than one-way pushing of data, I am not you. There is no Federal law that mandates that you have to respond to every tweet that mentions your organization, nor will any religious organization disfellowship with someone who turns off comments on their blogs.

If you want to use Twitter as a one-way method of communication, then by all means do so.

If you want to delete every negative Facebook comment after a scandal, then by all means do so.

You need to choose a communication style that is comfortable for you. If you do not like your customers, then it's worthless to pretend that you do.

Hmm...I'm half tempted to close comments on this post. But I won't.
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