Why must small businesses listen to online conversations?

The overall attention span of today’s customers’ and also their keenness to engage with a host of divergent marketing messages is continually decreasing. This is largely because of an array of marketing channels available, prompting to them to consider and try out various options to check which one suits them the best.

Spreading your brand message

Simultaneously, customers are also getting increasingly choosy of the kind of brand message that they want to get exposed to; they are getting equally selective about the platform to interact and engage the brands. This has made the task of marketing and brand promotion extremely challenging, especially in context of today’s highly challenging environment.

To add to the pressure, your immediate competitors are doing everything possible to score over you. So what does hold the key to survival, sustenance and thriving of a brand? The remedy lies in a proactive and customer-centric approach.

Listen to your customers

  • To engage your prospective customers and to hold their attention, be attentive to their ideas and thoughts in order to grasp how they receive any marketing message. Accordingly, you can fine tune your communication strategy.
  • Conversations on an array of social networking channels can at times, reveal deficiencies in your products and loopholes in services, thus far ignored by your sales & marketing team. You can get precious ideas and even incorporate new features based on the user feedback.

Be proactive in your approach

  • It is important to tune in to the user feedback, even negative one. The comments and complaints can act as a great resource for smaller companies to improve their customer service. Of course, you must be genuine in your approach.
  • Your customers must be convinced that your marketing team is willing to o hear them out. Act on their justified concerns and provide valid solutions.

Do not ignore social media conversations

Remember, ignoring the social media conversations can be counterproductive. Apple, some time ago, experienced this. The company’s marketing personnel seemed to have nearly panicked over the much-publicized (faulty) antenna issue in their iPhone 4s model. The moderators, as was reported, deleted certain threads that referred to critical Consumer Reports findings.

Posts in a Google search of their relevant discussion boards did not grant ‘permission’ to see them. But the same were later reopened for debate. An apple user even posted a song on the Antenna Gate goof-up on YouTube. The company, many social media analysts felt, could have handled the publicity crisis in a much better way to avoid the flare-up.

The lesson to be learnt is: Be extra cautious dealing with more ‘vocal’ customers whom other social media users tend to follow. Tackle them with help of the help of influencers who are willing to talk in your favor. This will avoid a surge of bad publicity.