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Social Media Makes Your Site WorkPosted by Jenn on Friday, January 29th, 2010

Make your site work for you – incorporate social media.

With the advent of Facebook and MySpace, Twitter and Linked-In there are all kinds of ways to interact with your customers online.  Back on your website, you’re the king and (it’s good to be the king because) you can say all the wonderful things you’d like to share with the world completely unchallenged – but traditional Web 1.0 websites don’t really provide an interactive environment for your customers.

But why would you want to go to the trouble of interacting like this online?  Web 2.0 websites are more than just gradients, white space and striped backgrounds – they’re really about engaging customers.  Both companies and customers are asking questions and getting answers online on Facebook Pages and Twitter feeds.

But where’s the value?  What’s the payoff?  Customers who are happy with your services are giving you live testimonials, using their positive experience to inform others that they too will have these positive experiences when working with your company.  With customers sharing their opinions so freely you can much more easily see how well received a new product or initiative is, and likely, if it’s not going well, how they’d like to see it improved so you can react faster and better meet your customers’ needs sooner.

That’s all well and good but what about actual complaints?  If a customer has a complaint, you want to know about it.  It’s great to deal with whatever it is at the time the situation occurs but a customer who makes time to complain on your website will also spend his social time sharing his negative experience with his friends, family and colleagues.  Without an outlet like Facebook, Twitter or MySpace your company would be the only one that didn’t hear the complaint. This customer is giving you an opportunity to repair your relationship and impress him with your customer service so that he ends up sharing a positive story featuring your company with his personal and professional networks.  And, when this resolution is done in an open forum, such as on Twitter or your Facebook Page, you also showcase your professionalism and dedication to customer service to the general public, your potential customers.

Comments from any customer, whether positive or negative, give you a better understanding of how well you’re meeting your customers’ needs and that’s what it’s all about.  Companies that best meet the wants and needs of their customers are the most successful.

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