Modern consumer habits have changed the way that people interact with businesses. Gone are the days when a customer knew his or her butcher, baker and candlestick maker by name. Shopping is now a wholly impersonal activity: eCommerce, multinational corporations and checkout-less stores have seen to it that businesses have little opportunity to create a positive impression of themselves through customer interaction.
One way that businesses are able to build relationships with their client-base, however, is with personable social media accounts which share friendly, informal content and which engage with customers by inviting comment and answering questions.
SMEs, in particular, can benefit from an accessible, personable approach to social media because they very often build brand stories that people can relate to. As a result, it’s much easier to see SMEs as being run by real people leading normal lives. On social media, warmth and friendliness come across as much more genuine when customers can empathise with companies’ stories. On the other hand, people generally hold much more mistrust of huge, international, impersonal companies. Although they may use an informal and friendly tone of voice across social media, consumers are savvy enough to know that it’s all done in an attempt to drive the already staggering profits and to expand even further as a company. Additionally, it’s very difficult for big companies to interact with customers on social media due to the sheer volume of followers and messages they receive.
So if you’re an SME, make sure you reply to questions you receive on social media; share content that will make people smile and fall in love with your brand; and speak to your customers as if they’re real people and not just sales figures. By making your business one that customers come to know and can rely on, you’ll find that you can outsmart your larger competition.
Guest written, by Austin Eszcori from Melius Media Group