When we think about putting our best foot forward with marketing, it’s natural to focus on ourselves, and what we can do for the customer. But social media has flipped that idea on its head. Or, as Scott D. Cook, Founder of Intuit was quoted recently, “A brand is no longer what we tell consumers it is — it is what consumers tell each other it is.”
Wow. And here’s another head-turning quote from best-selling author and online marketing authority Bryan Eisenberg: “Our job is to help the customer become the hero of their own journey.” In a recent presentation, Creating Legendary Brands, Mr. Eisenberg set the table for a thought-provoking discussion about a customer-centric focus for your social media campaigns.
Seeing things through your customer’s eyes. A lot’s been written about the value of storytelling. But once you believe storytelling is compelling, the question is, whose story are you going to tell? Sure, it’s interesting to share a true story about how your company solved a gnarly problem for a customer. But how about you go one better: Tell that story from your customer’s perspective. Better yet, let your customer tell his or her own success story in the form of a video testimonial posted to your social media channel.
The enduring value of referral marketing. This blog post from Shopify puts things succinctly: “Study after study has proven that referral marketing is one of the best forms of marketing when it comes to sales and conversions. Simply put, referral marketing, sometimes also called word-of-mouth marketing, is just people purchasing products based on someone else’s opinion or influence. It’s a powerful marketing channel because people trust the opinions of other people in their lives and people they respect, whether that be family, friends, social media influencers or big stars.” So, if a brand “is what consumers tell each other it is,” then encouraging consumers to share their positive experiences with your company on your social media channels is a winning strategy.
Put a human face on your social media posts. Don’t speak at your followers — speak with them. When you are working on posts, remember that there are real, living, breathing human beings who have taken the time to log onto your social media channel to see if you have anything worth saying…to them.
Seek out opportunities to engage. Sure, we’re all busy. Still, your social media posts must offer something of value — or the consumer will change the channel and may never come back. So, when working on posts, stress strategies that encourage interaction. Assign someone on your team to keep an eye on your social media channels, always on the lookout for opportunities to start a conversation — or solve a problem.
Pull back the curtain. Naturally, you’ll want to promote new products and services with social media. But what if you revealed a thing or two about the process your company uses to develop products or services? Or perhaps provide an insight into how your company’s mission and vision reflects itself in the way you approach customer service. In other words, dig deeper and share from the heart.
Remember, the future of your brand is in your customers’ hands. If it’s true that your brand is what consumers tell each other, maybe we can all be a little more thoughtful about what we are saying on social — and what consumers might think, and possibly share with their friends. So choose your posts wisely. Help the consumer become the hero of their journey. And keep this final nugget of wisdom from Bryan Eisenberg in front of you: “The magic secret to all of our successful companies is that they learned how to tell stories about their customer’s perspective.” And that makes it all a lot more shareable, doesn’t it?