Facebook and Twitter have their money on their minds these days. Ditto news outlets such as Newsday and The New York Times. Should your organization’s social media campaign follow suit?
Before you answer that, I want you to think about the person who cuts your hair. Anyone who’s ever had a truly egregious haircut can tell you how important it is to find someone you trust to handle your hair. Now imagine walking into your regular barber shop or hair salon — a place you’ve trusted for years. Your regular hair person walks up to you, but instead of smiling and saying hi, they shout “SHAMPOO HALF OFF WITH NEXT CUT!!!”
Are you going to go through with that haircut? I don’t think so.
As our understanding of social media marketing techniques matures, so will the pressure to produce results. Some companies will be satisfied with soft-metrics, such as engagement. Other companies are going to want to see cash on the table. Deciding which approach is correct for your organization is a more nuanced discussion, but no matter what form the pressure takes, I want you to remember your hair person. Because if you’re doing your job right, you are that important to someone. At least some of your customers look to you as a resource, a partner — even a friend. And the more they care about you and your company, the more upset they’ll be if you panic under pressure and start giving them the hard sell.
Yes, you’re in business to make money. Your customers aren’t dumb. They know that. They’re OK with that. What they’re not OK with is being treated like walking dollar signs. Facebook might be able to get away with that — for now — but you can’t. Finding your campaign’s ROI is going to become more important this year, but be careful not to let the search for a better return ruin the aspects of social media marketing that make it work in the first place.
How can companies increase their social media ROI without alienating customers? What’s the best way to balance sales with service? Anyone have a really good customer service failure story?
Image credit, DivaNir4a via istock