I think sometimes we make social media marketing too complicated. We have to promote our products on Twitter. What’s our Klout score? We need to get people to interact with us on Facebook. What’s EdgeRank all about? And so on….
But sometimes it’s a lot simpler than that. Sometimes, all it takes to win people over is being available and replying to customers when they say something to you. A recent study brings this point home, I think.
In September, Maritz Research and evolve24 surveyed about 1,300 U.S. adults who had identified themselves as 1) frequent Twitter users who had 2) used Twitter to complain about a company they’ve done business with and 3) are at least 18 years old.
Of the 1,300, only 29% said the company contacted them after the complaint tweet. But look how that 29% felt about being contacted.
Only 4% said they didn’t like it. More than 83% liked or loved being contacted after their complaint. If I told you there was an easy way to put a smile on the faces of 83% of customers who were previously unhappy, you’d do it, right?
One other thing: If your customer base skews older, you darn well better listen when they talk to you on Twitter. From the same study, look at the expectations people have about being heard and how those expectations increase with each age group.
My point: Don’t make Twitter or Facebook (or insert the social networking sites you use as a business owner) any more complicated than they need to be. Be present where your customers are and be ready to reply when they have something to say to you — good or bad. If you can do more and do it well — go for it. But it’s okay to just use social media as a customer service post.
You can download an executive summary of the Maritz/evolve24 poll on their website.