Social Media is more than a Dialogue

So how many of you hear this over and over again from your spouse? Well I’m going to let you in on a secret. This is what is currently happening with businesses trying to engage in dialogue with their customers and employees before they take the time to build Trust in Social Media.

Here is an example.

You can also use this example in B2B. Companies spend so much time thinking a dialogue is telling a customer or prospect what is great about their company and what they can do for them and yes even how their service or product will fit their needs. Listening is very important in this new business world, but even more important than that is building TRUST.

If you’ve read me at all you have heard me speak about becoming a Trust Agent. I have spoken a lot about Chris Brogan and Julien Smith’s book “Trust Agents”. But today I am going to briefly describe to you what building trust means in Social Media from a business perspective. It is a concept that usually is lost among businesses. Businesses are so busy trying to get business that they forget to build trust along the way.

To build trust you have to add value. Or as we say “add value to human kind”. You do this by giving something of value to your audience. No, it is not an added value or value add, it is true value that will help them in their daily lives or their business. And guess what it is given freely. So how do you make money by building trust? Well we will be discussing this all week and I will give you examples of each way to build trust.

The first way is to Know Your Audience. This works whether it is your market, customer, prospect or employee. You may have different levels of audience and you have to reach out to them and build trust where they are, not where you want them to be.

As a business you can make money but you first have to become a trusted Brand to them. You can do this whether you are a mom and pop shop or IBM.  So I will leave you with this thought on building trust.

When our grandparents were looking to do business they asked their neighbors. Similarly when a CEO is looking for a service they ask their colleagues. If you have not built the trust so that you can get recommended then how can you ask for a sale? Hope is not a strategy and building trust takes work. You have to build trust in the communities that your customers and prospects are in.

There is a way to build trust online and it is not engaging your customers in meaningless dialogue but giving them something they can use and really listening to what they have to say.

Les Adkins, CEO Orange SMS (Social Media Solutions)


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2 thoughts on “Social Media is more than a Dialogue

  1. Nice blog Les. You are right, saying something and listening is critical in the Social Media space. It is similar to how I reference listening to your customers by testing what you say to them and how they respond to it. People are always talking. The question is whether or not we are listening. http://www.michaelbuckham-white.com/blog2/2010/06/b2b-b2c-stop-and-take-time-to-test-products-and-websites-with-users-and-the-marketplace/

    Like

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