Hello! Hello! Anybody home???
It has happened to me so many times, and I am getting tired of it.
Don’t you hate when you speak and no one listens?
How many times have you posted something on Social Media in the hopes that someone else is listening to you?
Or even better, that someone responds to you…
Hundreds of company brands have decided to create a Social Media presence, thinking that if they have a Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter; they have fulfilled “the goal”. What goal? Merely to have an online account instead of what actually matters, which is engagement and building relationships that are long lasting.
Social Media is redefining the way business is done. We don’t only expect corporate brands to have an online presence; we expect to have meaningful online relationships and conversations.
But many company brands are failing in the “listening” department. And many companies don’t even care if their customers (or potential customers) are talking to them. Engagement, as a way to create long lasting relationships, is not foreseen as a top priority for many corporate brands today.
That is why, even though Social Media is a huge part of my life, I was pleasantly surprised when I commented on Yelp.com, an online local commercial hub for tips and reviews, to my local pizza restaurant on the Upper West Side of New York City. I gained the attention from their Social Media Community Manager.
I was unhappy with the pizza they delivered, and my “customer review” expressed my dissatisfaction. I wrote on Yelp.com that I “wanted my pizza with extra tomato sauce”. Always, at least until now, Yelp.com is just a place where I aimlessly vent my feelings—good or bad.
Next day, to my surprise, I had a message from the restaurant manager in my Yelp.com account. He wanted to know exactly what they did wrong and how they could make me happy. He said, “What was wrong with our pizza? We want to make your order right. We’re sorry our pizza did not meet your expectations.”
I told him that I had wanted my pizza with more tomato sauce. He wrote back acknowledging my comment AGAIN, and asked me “Please give us a second chance”. And, if I decided to give them another crack at making my pizza, my order would be “on the house”.
Needless to say, I was surprised most by the fact that this pizza maker was listening, not on their own private website, but on Social Media applications like Yelp.com, which as you may know, today, represents one of a million Social Media platforms.
Three final thoughts on why it is important for commercial brands to “listen” in on the Social Media channels…
1. Be the first to know what people (i.e. your customers / stakeholders) are saying about you;
2. Respond and shape the conversation. Be a part of it…and,
3. Make your Social Media interactions an opportunity to engage customers and build relationships with them so they return, continue to purchase your goods and services, and tell their friends and family how good your pizza is (and could be). Just like I’m doing now.
As for my local pizza place, I am now a loyal customer and I haven’t even taken them up on their offer for that free second pizza.
But, believe me I will; and you all will hear about it.
Tags: Social Media