I was recently asked by a friend, “do you have a social media strategy?” I replied, “No, we actually have a relationship strategy.”
All definition discussion aside, we build relationships with customers. That simply requires going where our customers are. And it’s why we started using things like Twitter – customers were there asking questions about our products, so we responded.
People don’t understand social media; they think it’s “new”. The truth is, social media is just like any other channel of communications you maintain with your customers – it’s exactly like telephone, and email, it’s just that most businesses haven’t learned to see it that way yet.
To help change some minds, do you know where we do way more relationship building? It’s talking on the phone, then chatting through email, and finally exchanging cards at conferences. We even take our customers out for dinner to take the conversations offline. We monitor Twitter, have a Linkedin and Facebook page, but all three produce comparatively less interaction with our customers. We look at the the whole picture, not getting caught up in new technologies, buzz words or definitions.
Twitter’s most important use for us is as a barometer. Almost everyone at FreshBooks uses search on Twitter to see what customers are saying. So thank you to everyone that Tweets, it makes us smile and motivates us to continue to serve you. Twitter search does provide a great way to get a small sample of what people are saying about you on and offline, but it’s just one way to listen to your customers, don’t forget the time tested and old faithful ways to make your customers happy, like having dinner, or getting on the phone.