Saturday, April 5, 2014

How Does Your Business Create Social Media Circles?

While most of us are familiar with Google Plus circles, there’s a similar concept that exists throughout social media. When people network on a personal level, they develop circles of influence. But in the business environment, how does this concept of circles fit? How does your business create social media circles?

Recently, I read a post on the blog of a nationally-known expert who specializes in customer service tips and strategies, Shep Hyken. The post was not written by the blogger, but instead, by a guest contributor. Since I admire and respect the owners of the blogs I regularly read, I always check out posts by their guests.

This particular post was written by the president of a furniture store, and the title was, “Ten Tips for Achieving 100% Customer Satisfaction.” As I read the post, I was nodding my head in agreement with each tip. My favorite tips were:

[1] Never answer a question by telling a customer that something is “company policy.”

[2] Mistakes and problems always result in opportunities to create long-term loyal customers by exceeding expectations.

[3] Unhappy employees cannot create delighted customers.

When I finished reading the post, I immediately opened Twitter on my iPhone to share the post. 

I Tweeted:  Transforming an “angry” customer into an enthusiastic advocate is always worth the cost. -Jeff Frank of @SimplicitySofas via @Hyken.

Within a few moments, I noticed that my Tweet was Re-Tweeted by the Twitter account of Simplicity Sofas. That was a kind gesture, but I had not expected the Re-Tweet.

But what was even more amazing was something that happened shortly thereafter. I received an email from the post’s writer, Jeff Frank, the President of Simplicity Sofas. My email does not appear in my bio on Twitter, so Jeff had to take the time to research me on the Internet and find a way to communicate with me. In his email, he thanked me for the mention on Twitter and also shared some details about his company.

I was so impressed by Jeff’s email that I responded to him, “Hi Jeff, your outreach resulting from my Tweet of your post on Shep’s website is inspirational and represents the quintessential core of social networking. If only you were closer to my hometown in California, I would be thrilled to shop for a sofa at your showroom in North Carolina. Thanks again for showcasing the best of social, or as Vala Afshar Tweets: Don't do social, be SOCIAL: sincere, open, collaborative, interested, authentic, and likeable.”

After thanking Jeff for his email, I wrote to the blog’s owner and fellow customer service advocate, Shep Hyken, to share my memorable interaction with Jeff. Shep responded, “Hi Debbie, It really is amazing how connections are made. Jeff’s company does amazing customer service.”

This exchange made me think about how most businesses use and view social media. In today’s social climate, many of us in the marketing arena think about ROI and metrics on a daily basis, but too often, we lose sight of the simple ways to measure our social media marketing efforts: one-on-one connections. Ask yourself, when was the last time your business continued a conversation past a single Tweet or single Facebook post? When did a telephone call result from a Tweet or a Facebook post? When did your business follow a Tweet or Facebook comment with a letter from your President?

If your business doesn’t spend the time to really develop personal relationships with prospective customers, you’re losing out on what makes social media such an effective marketing tool.

Inspiration for this post:
Ten Tips for Achieving 100% Customer Satisfaction by Jeff Frank on Shep Hyken’s Blog: 


This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.

1 comment:

  1. When I first heard about Simplicity Sofas I was so impressed. They are a model for AMAZING customer service! Thank you for sharing the post!


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