Are you on your customer’s A-List?

By Contributing {grow} Columnist “Social Steve” Goldner

Good Golly Miss Molly.  I’ve been busy.  Between work overload, family health issues, running with the kids schedule and just the general day to day hectic world, I‘ve had no time to be social.  But I am sure it is very different for you. Right!

This past week I had an eye opening moment regarding the repercussions of NOT being social.

I had called up a good buddy as I had a free hour to hang out.  We met for a nice cigar and chat as we have often done in the past.  He said to me, “I was about to wipe you from my A-List.  I know I am the one that usually calls up to suggest a smoke, but I haven’t heard from you in some time.  I just thought, no, I’ll wait and see if you call.”  I told my bud that this was literally the first hour break I had, including the weekends and explained how crazy everything had been.

Granted, my friend gets a bit sensitive at times, but the scenario really made me think, evaluate, and learn.  You have to stay connected with the people that matter the most. No matter what.

When it comes to business, who are the most important people in your circle?  Hopefully you answered your customers, prospects, and employees.  Do you spend enough time with them?  Would you ever want your customers to say or think you are no longer on their A-List?

In the five years I have been involved in social media, probably the most frequent question/comment I have heard is, “How do you have time” or “I don’t have time for that.”  What exactly is being referred to as “that?”

“That” is connecting and engaging with the people that pay your bills.  Could there really be anything more important than “that?”  Sure social media adds new complexity and time demands on a work world that is already in overload.  But we are talking about connecting and being social with the people that are most important to your business.  It is time to reassess and reprioritize your business operations and where you are spending time.

It is time to face the music.  You no longer “own” your brand position the way you used to. The democratized social public can totally contradict your position on a whim.  Can anyone really believe it is not important to be a social company in this day and age?

So what does it mean to be social from a business perspective?

  1. Identify the people that matter.  Who does your communication need to speak to? Identify them by demographics, psychographic profiles, values and behavior.
  2. Determine what they want from a social connection (not what you want as the first step).
  3. Articulate your objectives.
  4. Define the intersection of what you look to accomplish and what your target audience seeks.  Make this intersection your communication platform as opposed to your “standard” corporate communication platform.
  5. Determine appropriate cadence for owned media (blog post), mailings, postings, tweeting, etc.
  6. Make sure you respond, engage, and participate in two-way conversations.
  7. Avoid corporate speak … it’s social media. BE SOCIAL.
  8. Work social into your business as usual operations … yes, it is difficult at first, but it gets easier over time and is absolutely beneficial for sustainable, long-term growth and success.

So what does it take for you to make your customers’ A-List and what are you going to do to stay there?


Steve Goldner
 is the Senior Director at MediaWhiz where he leads the social media practice. Steve has been a marketing executive for the past 20+ years and engaged in social media for the last four. You can follow him on Twitter @SocialSteve and visit his blog at http://socialsteve.wordpress.com

All posts

  • Hello Steve…
    I am learning about this new reality and your points are something that I will really have to give thought too. I will be launching into this world in April with my venture, and these points are going to be given some serious considerations.
    I have people whom I try to keep the line taught with all the time, but it isn’t easy is it?
    When the customers come I will be at least prepared with you post here as to having a plan, that is a start!
    Billy

  •  Good luck Billy.  Set realistic goals – identify the most important customers and start with them.  As you begin to get into your groove, add and switch out customers you engage with from time to time.

    Best,
    Steve

  • Pretty good advice here. So I followed you on the strength of this really good stuff. Thanks. Billy

  • Noleen Turner

    Hi Steve, I particularly like point 2. Determine what they want from a social connection (not what you want as the first step). I think this is where a lot of companies go wrong with social media. Thanks for the blog post. 

  • Pingback: Not So Social Marketing()

  • Pingback: Best of B2B Marketing Zone for February 27, 2012 « Sales and Marketing Jobs()

  •  Noleen – Totally agree … too many concentrate on what they are selling as opposed to what the target market is buying.

    Best,
    Steve

  • Donna Dimick

    Hi Steve,
    Great article. But one point causes me to stumble time after time. 
    “Avoid corporate speak … it’s social media. BE SOCIAL.”
    I’ve been accused before of “corporate speak”.  While I don’t think that I’m rude, cold or unfriendly, I’m trying to run a business, not be everyones best friend. This is really a tough one for me. How does one avoid this, yet still remain professional?  
    Thanks,
    Donna

  •  Hi Donna,
    My advice is to try to write like you talk.  As a business professional, I am sure your “business tone” is friendly.  I often see people add jargon to the written word.  Use of stuffy words, like “moreover” often show up in the written word.  Do people really use these words when they speak or just in writing.  Think about it from that perspective.

    Hope this helps – best,
    Steve

The Marketing Companion Podcast

Why not tune into the world’s most entertaining marketing podcast that I co-host with Tom Webster.

View details

Let's plot a strategy together

Want to solve big marketing problems for a little bit of money? Sign up for an hour of Mark’s time and put your business on the fast-track.

View details

Close