My mom is a great cook. I know, I know, we all think our moms are fantastic cooks but most of my family and friends can vouch for it and yes, if you stop by to taste her cooking you will totally agree to it. How do I think she became a great cook? Firstly, she learnt the basics of cooking (most folks can easily achieve it), Secondly, she mastered the art of cooking (lots of practice with trial and error), Thirdly, understanding what the people around her like and customized it based on their likes and needs. She is currently with us in US and there are 4 different taste buds at home. I like food spicy. Nikhil less spicy, my dad lemony and my kids prefer their food to be totally bland. She makes the base of the food to be bland and adds different spices depending on the folks eating the food and be tasteful at the same time. So, how did she learn what each of us liked? Simple, we were vocal about our likes and dislikes and she listened.
So, now you ask me, what does my mom’s cooking have to do with business and social media? When you are in business, if you only have 4 customers it would be easy to listen to each of them, maybe take them out for a coffee every week. What do you do when you have 40, 400, 4000 customers? Learn the basics of your business, build the expertise, customize it for your customers. Can you listen to each of your customers individually. It might not always be the case but there are tools available to listen to your customers on Social media. Each tool is different and everybody has their own preferences. We have both free and enterprise listening tools available. Following are the list of some of the free tools available Google Alerts: You can listen to what people are talking about your product or service through alerts Twitter search: You can search about the latest and greatest about any topic Facebook search: You can hear from your social circle of friends/customers about their thoughts on your product or service YourTube search: You can see videos about the topics that are of interest to your business Technorati blog search – It is an internet search engine for searching blogs TweetBeep – Helps you keep track of conversations that mention you, your products, company or other items.
Enterprise listening systems social media monitoring, collaboration, listening Meltwater.com Parature.com Radian6.com Sysomos.com Vocus.com
These tools not only help you listen to what your customers (or prospective ones) are talking about your product/service but also what is working or not working for them. It will also help you understand what they like in your competition (features that you might not currently have). This will help you understand what your customers are really looking for. This will also help you identify potential customers through social media.
Targeting is like the new buzzword with social media but how exactly should you perform your targeting?
- Figure out your target audience (gender, age, location, marital status, interests, job titles, etc)
- Dive into social networks to look and find them
- Figure how much time and money you would like to spend on narrow targeting using social network
How do you figure out what your customers really want? Does your message have value to the end user or is it annoying and disruptive. Make sure your message is not only just about your brand, it should also be about your customer. More about how you can engage, respond and ask of your customers in the next post.