Have you heard of the “Groundswell” movement? The groundswell movement is a marketing challenge for most businesses and has to do with social media and online interaction. Since the birth of social media, review sites and forums many company products and services are on public show case via consumers. This public show case results in positive and negative representation of the company’s product or service.
However, in almost all cases there is some negative feedback and the desire for consumers to interact with the company to get either support for the product or to improve the product. If your business is not part of the groundswell, you are missing out on valuable information and opportunities to provide fantastic customer service. Here is some basic “in a nutshell” tips on utilizing the groundswell to improve your company’s product or customer service.
Start by Listening
One of the best ways to get involved in the groundswell movement is to start actively listening to the internet (or watching rather). This means doing searches to see if your customers are currently talking about your product and service and what they are saying. This can come in the form of public reviews, blog posts, social media posts and forum posts. Once you have found what your customers are saying, start addressing their needs either on those hubs or by referring them to your formal social media properties. If you currently don’t have a company blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. now is the time to set those up.
Determine Your Goals
Once you have listened to your customers and put together their general concerns, you can start creating a goal-oriented plan on how to interact with these customers. However, even if your product or service does not have any public interaction yet, you can still define your goals before the interaction starts. Some of the more common goals for companies include customer service, product research, market research, and increasing sales. After you determine your goals you need to map out a plan of action and a way to measure your progress. If you are starting from ground zero and do not have a community, you need start actively promoting your social media campaigns to your current offline and online customers.
Once you have built an online community you need to be actively taking action. This means asking customers for product suggestions, reviews, product ideas, to take surveys etc. Also, be consistently responding to both positive and negative posts and updates. Even if a post is negative, it’s important to give the customer a response (Avoid deleting negative posts unless it’s extremely crass with curse words, libel etc).
The Goal is Always Interaction
Remember, no matter what your company goals are the overall goal should always be interaction with the consumer. If you have a company Facebook and you are not actively baiting consumers to interact; you are going to get nowhere….i repeat nowhere.
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