When we think social media, a connected, online interaction immediately ensues. Whether it is from your desktop, your laptop, your smartphone, or your net connected sunglasses, it is a machine allowing us to connect socially. With more and more emerging tools to help manage these interactions, it becomes easier to allow the “machine” to take over, and for us to lose focus of what really mattered in the first place, the social interaction between two living, thinking, human beings.
The success of your social media campaigns and brands depends on multiple factors, but one of the biggest is the cultivation and building of your direct relationship with your customers. People are more willing to spend money with brands/entities they trust, and even more so to spend money with brands/entities that their friends trust. What does this tell us? We have to build trust among any of our possible customers to be effective. Do you think sending out automated, generic, messages and responses does this? Not a chance. It requires time, effort, and a sincere message. Just take a look around any of your social platforms after reading this, if you spend the time looking it is easy to pick out which brands are run by a representative of the brand, and those that are run by a “computer”. If you can tell, your demographic can tell. Trust us.
It is touted that 80% of customer service will be taking place on-line by the end of 2013. What are the most common complaints of customer service issues these days? “I just want to talk to a real person, but all I get is this damn machine recording!” Don’t make the mistakes that companies did with telephone customer service, because not only will your hurt your brand loyalty even more, but successfully building engaging and trusting relationships via social media can lead to future sales; impress a customer service on your social networks with great customer service, and you can guarantee they will be watching what your brand is putting out on the same networks in the future. Why? Because you took the time to deal with them as a person, you built that trust.
The point is clear, while we rely on machines, IE computers, to convey our brand messages via net connectivity, that does not mean we have to lose the one inherent quality that we can bring to our customers in any social connection, our humanity. It is this single quality that will define the haves and have-nots, the greats from the meek, and the successes from the failures. All it takes is doing what comes naturally, to act as real people, even when representing our brands. Do that, and you will find success with other people just like you; they just happen to be spending money with your company.