As a business woman and momma of three, I am constantly looking for ways that business and my personal life intersect. The other day, I came across a wonderful example demonstrating what each of us involved in social media is trying to accomplish.
My baby daughter is very much like her momma. In short, I am an extrovert, love people, and like to engage with others if but for a moment or a lifetime. Baby Girl and I were out for a stroll on a gorgeous sunny day just last week. As we stopped at a crosswalk, she held out her sweet pudgy hand to wave and say “Hi” to the other people waiting to cross. She’s giggled and cooed excitedly awaiting their response. She looked up at them expectantly, searching for signs of acknowledgement and validation her cheerful greetings were going to be reciprocated.
As I looked around me, I saw only one person responding, giggling and waving to her. The others were ignoring her or caught up in their own thoughts and clueless to her attempts at connection. It struck me that this sequence of events was a perfect example of what social media represents. All of us are looking to connect. In social media, my baby’s wave is the equivalent to a mention on Twitter, a Like on Facebook, a review on Yelp, etc. Customers and advocates who take the time to reach out and connect with a brand or business are waiting expectantly for some kind of acknowledgement and/or response. And while customers don’t expect a response every single time, we all know how satisfying it is to see the brands we love (or hate, as it were) CARE customers are there, and that brands want to talk/exchange and interact with us.
Business needs to understand they are in business because of their customers. If a customer takes the time to seek out your brand, talks about your brand (positively or negatively), and seeks a response, the brand/business would be very wise to seize this opportunity and ENGAGE this customer. Social media is about building relationships first and foremost. Don’t leave a customer waiting to be acknowledged. No response is simply not acceptable in this social media age. Instead of doing the equivalent of looking away from a wave and burying corporate heads in the sand, create connections, build community, and strengthen your brand with every online inquiry/interaction. Your customers will notice, and thank you for it.