Social media allows us to engage each other and start a conversation which hopefully turns into a relationship.
I’ve been in the ad business for over 3 decades, and over the years have used the tools available to develop targeted programs to reach our intended audiences. We were so busy telling people how good our product was that we seldom took the time to ask any questions or listen to what the customers had to say. In other words, most of our communications were one way.
Today with the advent of social media, we have so many options to reach our target as does our target to get info on a particular product or service. Web 2.0, for example, allows customers to participate in dialogs, forums and surveys that let their opinions be known. We as marketers should be happy about this as it affords us valuable insight into the minds of customers (you ask questions, listen and respond).
Back in the day before the Internet was invented by Al Gore, a lot of us used to practice another form of B-to-B marketing (belly button to belly button) where we actually sat down with a customer or prospect and had a conversation with them.
Unfortunately in today’s world, people for the most part don’t have time for these kinds of encounters. Social media allows us to begin the engagement process, so hopefully as we build a relationship, we can ultimately have that face-to-face just like the good old days.
Marketers need to rethink the way they communicate to customers and prospects. Quit selling and start listening.