I arrived to see a noticeboard welcoming me to the hotel. A nice touch. A Gin and Tonic arrived whilst I sat down and checked in and my own butler to unpack my clothes if I chose. All good so far, and what I’d expect from a ‘special service’
But what made this hotel different was the service I received throughout my stay. All of the waiters and staff knew my name and greeted me. Different concierges were aware of conversations I’d had earlier in the day to other hotel staff. Courtesy and politeness and a really personalised service made my stay really special.
And isn’t this what we strive for in our social media activities?
We struggle to get the engagement we want from blogging, Facebook and Twitter activities.
We set targets that are impossible to achieve and hope our campaigns go viral.
We want our consumers to talk to us
But we often lack the personal touch
For example, if you have a Facebook page, what do you do with it? Do you ask questions, use polls and competitions? Do you offer coupons, or random fan of the day competitions? Do you respond to interaction from your page fans? Do you let your fans feel that they’re in control?
Or do you just broadcast? Do you never refer to any of your loyal fans by name? Do you know what they like? gin and Tonic? Beer? Soda? Do you know their habits? Do you care?
My tips for improving your online relationships are:
- Talk to your customers. Respond to their comments early and encourage them to interact with each other on your comment stream. From there you can gather data on who your top influencers for the page are
- Give Twitter and Facebook based exclusive offers. Dell have some great examples of how they generate a positive ROI on their social media activities
- Involve your customers in decisions about the product and how they want the product or solution to evolve. Remember how Marks and Spencer involved their customers in product naming of their Wedgehog. You could do something similar for your product set.
- Try polls to gauge customer reaction – and act on the polls
- Try not to spam your audience. If you work globally, then make sure that you talk to your fans on their time zone. Make sure you know when to post your social media update
And remember the personalised service. Online or offline, personal service will get you a much better response, will improve perception about your brand and make your customers return to you over and over again.
Just like I’ll return to the hotel where all of the waiters know my name
Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.
Image credit: Flickr