Your customers WILL be talking about you online. And about your competitors, and about developments in your target market. Wouldn’t it be great if you could hear what they’re saying?

Well, guess what….yep, you got it! With an effective monitoring strategy in place, the public nature of conversations in social media makes it really easy to know what’s being discussed. Here’s an example of what even a basic Twitter search tells us about one well known brand.

In true British parliamentary fashion, we’ve redacted it to protect the guilty:

twitter screenshot

Someone's ears should be burning...

Had that business been listening, it would’ve had the choice to join the conversation. As well as being a great way to build engagement with your customers, being part of that online conversation means that you can encourage more of it, which means more exposure for your business.

This is also one time that unhappy customers are a great bonus. Respond to them and resolve the problem constructively, and you’ve just shown prospective buyers a great reason to deal with you and not your competition; even if something does go wrong, they can trust that you’re committed to resolving any issues.

You can even use that online conversation to help your business strategy develop. That one small example above shows customers doing the hard work for you – they’re actively suggesting things they’d buy if they were able to! Similarly, once you’ve found and engaged with your customers, you’re talking to people who already love what you do. So, if you’re thinking of a change of direction, or a new product or service, why not run it past them first? You have a ready made focus group right there.

So there you are. If you care about engaging with your customers, social media is one of the most effective options you can choose.