The Customer Is Always Wrong?

customer is always wrong

Well not really, but the subject is sure to get me some eyeballs right?  Hear me out though…

I find that most companies are making bad decisions these days either based on lack of knowledge, insecurity and/or fear. When they are feeling insecure or scared they tend to be conservative and not forward thinking. This is the wrong POV and a surefire way to go out of business. I am convinced that to succeed you must be proactive, confident and be willing to experiment and go outside of your comfort zone.

Many brands hire a Social Media Agency, because they feel pressured to by the market, but don’t really understand what that means. They do it from a position of weakness, rather than a proactive and positive decision to implement what they know deep down needs to get done. Because they are not 100% sold on the value of social media for their business they often are “half pregnant” with the decision and therefore play in the middle of the tennis court.  This sometimes makes for an awkward engagement and it almost seems like they are waiting for them to screw up and/or looking to prove that it was not a good hire. Almost like in some perverse way, they want to show them that the decision was a bad one.  What is the sense in that?  Again, just the wrong POV.

I suggest they take a different posture.  Make a threshold decision that online efforts are mission critical for the brand, determine what they want to see happen and then staff to those goals.  They will need an excellent Social Media Manager (or an agency like ours that serves as one) who is well versed in all nuances of social media, understands the importance of excellent customer service and perhaps most important, feels like a dedicated employee who works each day to outperform their pay grade.  In the end of the day, great companies are driven by great employees who are committed to the cause. Jim Collins talks about that in his book, Good To Great and it all comes down to having the right people on the bus, working on clear objectives.

So when I say the customer is always wrong, what I mean is that in my experience most just have the wrong POV. They either don’t buy in, or they do so half heartedly and don’t allow for the effort to (fully) succeed. At Sircle, our best clients are the ones who have full confidence that social and digital media are a “must have” for their business and either give us full autonomy and/or work with us to solve for X and find the can vs the can’t, in any effort we deploy.  When as a team we believe it as religion over tactic, it takes hold and we see amazing things happen.

Clients want and need me to speak my mind and stand my ground.  Not to be argumentative or combative, but to be a voice of reason and the usher of change.  If I employ a customer is always right mentality, we all fail.  So I try to tell them the opposite, with a smile of course. :)

 

 

 

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Safe is Risky

Safe is Risky quote

I meet with brands each week and nearly every single meeting comes down to a conversation where they know they need social media, but they just aren’t ready to really pull the trigger in a meaningful way.  They see that retail is hurting and they agree they need to do more web business, but it is less than 5% of their total revenue.  They don’t have a digital strategy (let alone a social one) and they think that somehow it is going to change. News alert…it wont!

The problem is that they dont understand digital so it scares them.  They instead choose to “play it safe” and advertise on traditional mediums like TV, outdoor and mailers (that don’t work) OR even worse they don’t market at all.  I would argue (and I think Seth Godin would agree) that this safe approach is the riskiest of all.  Failure to act, is an act of failure.  Brands need to start changing this mentality, before they go extinct.

If you had a heart attack today and survived, it would most likely cause you to assess and adjust things right away. You would start taking better care of yourself, would consult with experts on how to get there, read blogs and articles for ideas on how to incorporate for yourself personally and would generally take a much more serious stance on your health and well being. It would be a catalyst for you to start doing what you aways knew you needed to, but just didn’t.

So, imagine that your business had a heart attack today and get going on improving its health now. Stop wasting money on things that you cannot track and don’t work. Stop procrastinating on social media and stop putting your fate in the hands of ill equipped junior staff members, or worse in a marketing department that doesn’t believe in or understand it.  Start capturing emails and communicating with your customers in a smart and strategic way.  Start creating content that they care about and want to read.  Start spending advertising dollars on highly trackable platforms such as Facebook and Instagram now.

As we have said before, social media is just a new term for the internet and social networks are just part of the ecosystem. Not using the internet and/or thinking about how to engage people on their mobile phones (where the focus and attention clearly is) in 2016, is like eating bacon and ice cream 7 days a week and never working out. Some people might survive, but the vast majority will drop dead too soon. Don’t be part of the latter group.

Playing it too safe, is super dangerous for your (business’) health!

 

 

 

 

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Facebook Game – Strong

FB LIKE

With organic reach way down, brands have been abandoning Facebook and/or pulling back their focus on The Social Network, which is a huge mistake.  Not only is it still the only true portal for users in the social universe, but the paid platform is the most powerful tool that exists for brands and marketers.  We have talked about how Facebook Marketing cannot be ignored here in this blog before, but let’s explore some ancillary benefits.

When you market on Facebook, you are increasing targeted exposure for your brand.  When new users see your content they will often engage with it via a like or a comment.  Facebook now allows you to invite those users to LIKE your page if they don’t already. It is a great way to bring in new fans, as they just saw a message from you and took an action.  This is an excellent opportunity to strike while the iron is hot and move them into your community.

Some paid exposure could be how they found you OR a simple share or engagement taken, from even one fan could have opened up your content for increased exposure.  Thus strengthening the argument for increasing your community and why even one simple interaction from one fan is so important for your brand. Regardless of how they discover your post, they chose to engage with it, but they didn’t necessarily take that next step and like your page.

The good news is that Facebook has made it very easy to see who liked your post and who is/is not already a fan.

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 9.54.04 AM

Just click on the like count, as we did here for a recent post on our client Lurong Living’s Facebook page and then you can invite them to go ahead and become an actual fan. This is really powerful for this client who targets people who are into Crossfit and hard core fitness in general. Often the eyeballs they get on their organic and paid content are fro like minded individuals, who are highly likely to like their content and more importantly, their products. We recommend doing this within 24 hours of their engagement on the post to improve conversion rates.

It’s important to note that people who get an invite to like your page, are getting the invite directly from you, via your personal Facebook Profile as you can see below.  Remember, you may be sending invites to people who are strangers to you personally, but they will know that you are affiliated with the brand.

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The verdict is that this is a great way to increase your fan base and to do so with someone who already expressed interest in something your brand had to say. We boosted the post above for $5 and reached 2000+ people which is very inexpensive and highly targeted exposure. It drove 48 likes to the post and 20 new fans to the page, yielding an effective CPL of $0.25 – which outperformed their CPL Ad Campaign by $0.05.  It would be hard to argue for a most cost effective use of that $5.

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