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BizReport : Social Marketing : May 14, 2014

What shoppers want from social brands

Social media is like speed dating - a lot can go right. And a lot can go wrong between the brand and the shopper. What is the best way to approach those shoppers without being too friendly or too business like? One expert offers his advice.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What is it that consumers want from businesses on social networks?

John Huehn, CEO, In The Chat: There are many studies out there that share statistics about what consumers are looking for from businesses in social media. Considering those I have read and layering in my own personal perspective as a consumer that uses the channel, I would say this: we consumers want a timely response to our inquiries from informed company representatives who can deliver honesty, transparency, answers and resolution to our questions or concerns in our channel of choice. For example, if I am tweeting about a technical issue, it's logical that I would want a quick access to a support agent who can explain what is happening and help me fix my issue in a timely manner, ideally over Twitter.

Kristina: Is there something businesses should do in the social space that they aren't doing now to better engage consumers?

John: As companies increasingly use social media as a channel to build their brand and promote their products and services, they need to be prepared for consumers to expect the same level of open engagement and real-time response. The difficult part for most organizations is transitioning from simply monitoring social media to engaging. Companies are now given immediate access to real people who are having live conversations about their brand and their competitors. They need to have a plan to engage these consumers, influence their experiences and offer reassurance that they're there to help when needed. Companies need to shift from the mindset that social media is mainly a marketing and PR channel and begin to acknowledge the benefits of social media from a sales and customer experience perspective. This shift will have a direct impact on how companies can use social to realize a significant and measurable ROI.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: branded social content, In The Chat, social content, social marketing, social marketing tips

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