By Mary Lou Denny
Customer issues move at light speed through today’s Web, putting comments and questions about your products and services out there for all to see; sometimes they even go viral. While Web users can speak to your self-storage brand in real time, you have an equal opportunity to shine through your social customer relationship management (CRM), staying ahead of the curve and becoming a customer-care leader.
According to Social Media Marketing Industry Reports, more than 88 percent of marketers are incorporating social media into their marketing plans. Companies that embrace social media are better able to build, monitor and defend their reputations.
It all starts with taking the time to listen. This goes well beyond monitoring. By understanding the facts and emotions driving conversations about your self-storage brand, you can interact in a way that builds passionate brand admiration.
Facebook has grown to more than 800 million active users. If you looked at the social-media giant as a country, it would be the third largest in the world. Its users share more than one billion pieces of content weekly. It’s interesting to note that more than two-thirds of Facebook users are out of college, and the fastest growing demographic is men and women over 35.
These users who “like” your brand are five times more likely to click links to your website. These brand advocates can spread your message; 13 percent post updates about brands every day. Develop your company fan page and use this as an opportunity to engage with your potential and current customers.
On Facebook company pages, it’s common for customers to ask questions. Unfortunately, many businesses simply don’t address these concerns or even maintain their highly visible social-brand presence. It’s actually easy to deepen customer relationships with a simple one-sentence answer that can lead to further dialogue.
Furthermore, surveys on Facebook are a great tool to spark interaction. Putting photos of your self-storage facility also encourages more traffic to your page. You could receive many responses that can assist in driving product and service development or refinement.
Twitter allows you to converse with influential customers within 140 characters. Of the 140 million tweets daily, 20 percent mention a brand, company or product. On Twitter, you can also directly answer or provide Web navigation to satisfy tweeted questions.
To gain an edge, you can proactively search phrases and hashtags in the Twitter “firehose” to participate in broader topics related to your industry whether they’re about products, trends or various related areas. This gives you a chance to jump into a conversation immediately and build yourself as an expert in your industry.