Have you wondered how you might use social media to connect with customers? You can find out how during Surfaces 2013 during a panel discussion I will moderate.
You can also glean tips from this blog article!
You see, in anticipation of “Social Media in Action: Retailers Share Best Practices for Connecting With Customers” on 1/28/13, I'm sharing highlights from conversations and interviews with my panel participants and social media practitioners.
Nufloors' Cynthia Dean participated in a blog interview and shared her tips for success.
Next are 8 tips on using social media to connect with customers from Robert Banks, Executive Officer, Co-founder, BuildDirect.
What's particularly fascinating about this panel discussion is that, although Nufloors and BuildDirect represent different business models for flooring, both Rob and Cynthia share a passion for finance and business development. They are methodical in how they approach business. They also share a strong commitment to delighting customers. They are willing to talk about their experiences and share tips for success.
BuildDirect is a 13 year old company with deep roots in the industry. It represents an unique business model that is scalable across a broad range of categories; it has developed a predictive data model which identifies demand by market, geographic bias, economic sensitivity, and measures customer intent and barriers to purchase. Its predictive data analytics accurately forecasts manufacturing requirements. Furthermore, real time data provides early indicators which result in efficiencies back into manufacturing cycle and distribution channel.
In other words, not your typical flooring company! (See BuildDirect Uses Google Analytics To Get Found Online.)
BuildDirect and Rob participate actively in social media (see BuildDirect's Co-Founder Rob Banks on Mashable). Rob shares the following 8 tips for success using social media to connect with customers:
- Hook into your own expertise, find ways to honestly and efficiently express it. ‘Don’t soar like eagles, when you’ve got perfectly designed fins’.
- "Don’t follow the shiny new thing.” Be open-minded about the latest trends, but be discerning about them enough to know how you will apply them to your established plan. One size doesn’t fit all.
- Be inclusive. Let everyone within your company contribute their own ideas/expertise to a social media program. Know the difference between consistent voice, and iron-fisted control. This is the scary part.
- Be consistent. Don’t post once every 6 months and fool yourself into thinking you have a social media strategy
- Be authentic.
- Have empathy. In all customer interactions always think about their situation first… people want to buy from people who care about them. There is no way to fake this, be genuine.
- The conversation is happening whether you participate or not. Do you want to participate when people are talking about you?
- Don’t suck! Be great at what you do otherwise your social strategy doesn’t mean anything