There’s a lot of content and advice out there on how to spend less time doing social media for your company. “Social Media in Only 20 Minutes a Day” they proclaim, tapping into the psychological desire we all have to do more with less. It’s certainly nice to think of ideals like, “If I could just spend less than 30 minutes a day on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, I could finally focus on more important things like sales and billable work.” But let’s face it- with 480 minutes in the typical work day per person, if your entire company is looking to tap into the wonders of digital media in under 30 minutes, you’re losing out.
You see social media is a lot like dating. With dating, first you have to find someone you’re attracted to and start courting them. Treat them the way they want to be treated and from there a budding, fruitful relationship can grow. With social, customers are looking for that same connection with a company’s brand, and they want reciprocation. Limiting your end of the relationship to 20 minutes a day is like saying, “I’m sorry fan #217 out of 3756, I appreciate you trying to reach me, but I only have 20 minutes today so you’ll have to be okay with the equivalent of 0.32 seconds of my time.” Though it may be impossible time-wise for you to make every digital customers and prospect feel important- you can sure as hell try.
It’s easy to see which brands are trying and which brands just flat out don’t care. I recently had an issue with my website hosted through Godaddy and I decided to voice my disdain for them on my Twitter account. Within minutes, I got a real response that encouraged me to contact them to work it out. In the one minute it took them to reply, they changed my entire paradigm of the company and I recently renewed my hosting with them. To me it seems like they care and I care about that. Consider the data from a recent article on Forbes.com, “89 percent of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience… 50 percent of consumers give a brand only one week to respond to a question before they stop doing business with them.” Are you even listening to your customers online? It’s invaluable market research and customer relationship management and it pays off when done right. Godaddy intervened with me during my poor experience and now they will benefit from me as a lifetime customers and receive my social media praise of their efforts. If they chose to ignore me, I would have left them as I was planning to- damage done, relationship terminated.
For those who just try to populate social channels with information about your company, stop thinking about yourself and think about the customers. Though it’s important to share your story, business relationships are a two way street and happy or sad, customers want their voice heard. Don’t end up being what the comedian Brian Regan coined the term the Me Monster. “Me myself right and then I and then myself and mee me I couldnt tell this one about I cause I was talking about myself and Me– MEeee– MEEee- MEEEEE– MEEEEEEEEEEE! MEEEEEEEEEEEHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!”
Nobody likes a Me Monster.
It’s time to put the customers first and focus on them, as they are the life blood of any organization. They are in social channels and that’s where they find information, form opinions and tell their friends. I’m not saying you have to devote hours a day to social, but 20 minutes a day just doesn’t cut it. Speak about what problems the customers are trying to solve and their connectedness to your company. Someone always has to be there representing your organization and he or she has to be knowledgeable about the brand and speak the customer’s language. As a marketer, you need to find the time to develop a real strategy that’s tied to Return on Investment and work with it until it works. It’s too important to leave on the back burner because social media drives sales. If your current strategy is to publish a tweet a day, put the same link on Facebook and blog about your company, that’s just anti-social media and it’s no surprise it doesn’t work.