When it comes to running a business, social media marketing has rewritten the rules for what it takes to have long-term success. Learn more.
When it comes to running a business, social media has rewritten the rules for what it takes to have long-term success. Before Facebook, Twitter and the many other social platforms existed, the primary media marketing tools were print (newspapers and magazines), broadcast (television and radio), direct mail and email. And in this pre-social media era the primary message was promotional.
Today, it is simply not enough to offer competitive pricing to get your message across to consumers. Customers want to feel their voices are heard, their concerns addressed, and their opinions respected. In other words, they want to have a conversation with your brand. A two-way, real-time relationship built on trust.
According to social psychologists, approximately 82 percent of our daily “social judgments” can be based of the following two questions: What are the intentions of this other person toward me? How capable is this person of carrying out those intentions1? As companies take on more approachable personas via social media, consumers view their dialogue with these businesses through the much the same kind of relationship filter they use with other individuals. This means it is in your company’s best interest to make sure you put consumer trust at the top of your list of priorities.
If your goal is to run a sustainable, profitable and respected business, it’s time to adapt to the changing landscape of business communication. Use Facebook and other social media outlets to make your company more transparent, more accessible—and more human. This relatively new technology has completely changed consumer habits and behavior, and in order to stay afloat, you must go with the flow.
Forbes magazine looked at the Fortune 100 companies and found that more than 75 percent of them expected their vendors to establish customer trust and consistently deliver a valued experience2. When your customers feel valued, trust is established and over time their loyalty builds. Listen to what they say and show them you care about their needs by following through on promises and communicating on a direct level. This will go a long way towards building a strong foundation of supporters. Loyal customers are much more likely to recommend your business to friends and family and purchase through you despite cheaper offers from competitors. Showing your human side when running a business isn’t always easy, but it is vital to the success—or failure—of your company.
It is clear that brand reputation has become the biggest indicator of customer loyalty and, ultimately, your company’s longevity. This should always be at the forefront of every brand’s priorities, but it is not the only one. Staying on budget is crucial, and one of the easiest and most efficient ways to track your finances is to use an accounting software program. Programs like QuickBooks® and Peachtree® allow you to record and store all accounting information in one central location. Furthermore, they allow you to print business checks in the convenience of your own office. Checks for business are a great way to display your logo to the world, and they don’t need to cost a fortune. Checksforless.com offers a huge selection of discount business checks that are easily customizable—and compatible with over 4,500 software programs. It’s an excellent way to save time and money while you figure out the best game plan for solidifying great relationships with your customers and growing your brand.
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1. Malone, Chris, and Susan T. Fiske. “The Importance of ‘Brand Humanity’ for Customer Loyalty.” Http://www.businessweek.com. Bloomberg L.P., 13 Oct. 2013. Web. <http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-10-15/the-importance-of-warmth-and-competence-in-brand-loyalty>.
2. Crandell, Christine. “Why Customer Loyalty Is Hard.” Forbes.com. Forbes Magazine, 29 Nov. 2012. Web. http://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecrandell/2012/11/29/why-customer-loyalty-is-hard.