What is the next big thing in social media? This question consumes many companies at the moment and nobody knows what it will be. It could be geo-location services built into your coffee cup or it could be something completely different.
The question is though: do you really need to chase the next big thing?
I think not. I think many companies waste a lot of time and resources chasing the next big, finding themselves in a never ending loop.
I think any company can be a leader and innovator in its category by exceeding expectations and putting customers first. What if the next big thing in social media is already here?
Let me explain: The key to success in social media is to focus on your customers. They buy your product, use your service and tell other people about it. Your brand would not exist if it were not for your customers. Now it is time to give back some love.
Ever wondered why a person goes back to the same hairdresser although the cut is not as good as expected? Well, it is because you get so much more at a hair salon than a new hair cut: You get somebody to chat to, listen to your worries and dish out the latest gossip. You also get free coffee (even wine these days), a scalp and neck massage and a hot towel to relax.
Do you remember the time of door to door salesmen? We had heaps in our neighborhood: vacuums and bags, frozen food, fresh bread, vegetables and eggs from the farms, Avon for the ladies, knife and scissor sharpeners etc. Those were the days were consumers were valued and customer service was high. The sales people were focused on each individual consumer. They remembered each person’s orders and preferences but also how many kids they have and what football team they support. The sales people took time to get to know their consumers and managed to sell products by not talking about the products but by talking to their consumers.
So how can any company apply this principle and sell products by not talking about its products? This is where social media comes in handy.
Social media allows a business to get to know its consumers, talk to them and most importantly: LISTEN to them. It enables a business to give something back to its consumers, make them feel appreciated and valued.
But, not only your customers benefit from such an approach. It also provides value to your company when Customer Service is a marketing weapon.
Keep it simple, manageable and consistent and you will find that the next big thing really is nothing you have to keep chasing.