I was reading about Customer Relationship Management (CRM) the other day and how to connect with your audience using social media. Something that piqued my attention was the concept that the social customer considers their peers as a most trusted source. No surprises there. If I’m looking for a hairdresser, I ask my circle of friends (only the ones with stylish hair, of course) where they go.
But here’s the interesting part. The social customer looks for ‘someone like them’, not necessarily ‘someone they know’. It’s basic psychology – gauging what our peers are doing and monitoring our aspirations or behavior against them. In the case of finding a hairdresser, I’m not just asking any friend, it’s the one I trust AND who has the stylish hair.
Today, the concept of ‘friend’ has expanded from the physical into the virtual. There are millions of groups and communities all sharing information and advice. Today, I might find a hairdresser by following a thread in a forum and use their comments and experiences to decide where to go for my all-important haircut.
What does this mean for social media? The first take-home (for me anyway) is you need to know your audience. You need to know their aspirations, fears, desires and hopes so you become ‘someone like them’. The second is you have to tell the truth about who you are and what you provide. A reputation can be easily trashed with a poor review or bad customer experience. And remember, people are more likely to report a bad experience than a good one, but they will report an exceptional experience. And they do respond to honesty. And this, in fact, is how I found my hairdresser – using an online forum and being guided by the honestly described experiences of others.
Know your customer and earn their trust. Share some tips with us in the comments.