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Your Customers are talking about you! And your potential customers are listening! Using Social Media Part 1

I’m in Ukraine this week speaking at a direct marketing conference for Eastern Europe. I’m talking about social media. I’ll put the “meat” of the presentation here for you.

There was a study reported in Search Watch a few weeks ago that I think helps make it clear how important it is to take an active role in social media if you aren’t already.

Here are the two most important results from the study:

  • 59.1% in the study use social media to talk about their customer experience.
  • 72.2% research companies’ customer care online prior to purchasing products and services at least sometimes.

In other words:

Your Customers are talking about you!
… And your potential customers are listening!

Here’s an example from my presentation for the folks here in Ukraine. First I did a Google search on “largest energy companies in Ukraine”, then I searched on the company name that came to the top of the results “United Energy Systems of Ukraine”

Below are a few results from page 1 of the search results in Google for “United Energy Systems of Ukraine”.

The first result, labeled number 1, is a Wikipedia article about the company. It was the first search result, position 1 in Google.

The second result, labeled number 2, is two posts from a blog. The first one talks about a past president of the company.

Oh NO. In the last result, a news result labeled number 3, the headline includes “Corruption!”. When I scanned the news item it mentioned the “Demise” of this company (which explains why I didn’t find any results from their own web site).

So far everything I know about this company comes mostly from social media.

I (and according to the study, many people) do this kind of research before I buy just about anything significant these days (or even go to a new restaurant or hotel). I’m looking for what other people say about the products or services, the support, the food, etc. What I’ve found has often been the deciding factor in wheter I buy the product or service, try the new resturant or stay at a hotel.

The point is, you can and should use social media to listen to what your clients are saying about you, respond when appropriate, and use social media to help build your brand.

Here’s some tips in bullet form from the presentation. I think they’re self explanatory:

Listen to what is being said about you

TIP: Google Alerts – google.com/alerts for your company name, domain names, and product names, (competitors too) etc. Goolge will let you know about anything it indexes with these names

Find the social sites that fit your audience

Search on important search terms, topics, etc

Listen, Learn, Respond when appropriate

Participate – Become an active user and contribute in a helpful way

Work on creating, improving, guarding your brand; useful articles, research, helpful expert responses, videos, etc

Ask clients to submit reviews to appropriate sites (otherwise reviews tend to be mostly negative as people who had a bad experience are more motivated to say something than those who had a good experience)

Don’t self promote or spam

Learn the written and unwritten rules, don’t break them

Some sites allow you to submit your own content, such as posts from your blog

Few examples –
Digg
StumbleUpon
del.icio.us

Look for more sites that fit your audience & market

Setup profiles for your company or key personnel


Some examples (Many allow links to your site and or blog)
YouTube
Wikipedia
LinkedIn
Flickr
Craigslist
Facebook
MySpace
Technorati

Build up lots of friends
Participate and Contribute

Blogs –

  •  
    • Can help build your reputation
    • May attract links from other sites
    • You can submit your posts to other sites
    • Allow others to submit comments, makes blog more useful, more “social”
    • Can have a newsletter generated from new posts
    • Participate on other industry leading blogs with thoughtful comments etc. Some will allow a link in your signature
    • Summarize other useful posts and link to them. They may return the favor

Add blog to main site e.g. evisionsem.com/blog –

  • Adds content to a site (search engines will index it)
  • Keeps site fresh and makes it more useful
  • Gets searches engines returning more often
  • May help rankings of the entire web site

 

For More Info

 Four unique social bookmarking gems from David Leonhardt

 
   
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