Water cooler chats happen more and more…but they are not just happening at the water cooler anymore. Now they’re taking place online through social media, especially Twitter.
Twitter offers a way for businesses to promote their products and services, resolve problems, handle customer complaints and connect with past, current and future customers. Case in point, have a look at Zappos, Dell, cable companies, airlines and even car manufacturers are hopping aboard.
Twitter also allows businesses to engage directly with customers in real time in front of everyone and their brother. This opportunity is unrivaled and hard to beat in any other marketing or sales tool in the world. As a student of public relations, I’m a big believer of opportunities and situations. You either see opportunities or take advantage of them or you wait, react and have to deal with a situation.
With that said, bear in mind that conversations can be a very powerful and persuasive marketing tool. How many times have you heard that “word-of-mouth” is the strongest marketing tool is the most powerful tool out there? Please have a little common sense and put the two together….realize that Twitter allows this word-of-mouth conversation on a much larger scale. But bear in mind that Twitter opens the door for conversations, good and bad.
We Want To Chat:
We, meaning humans, have a desire to communicate with others that share our same interests and beliefs and thanks to the internet; the world has gotten a lot smaller. Objections I’ve heard varies from the lack of ROI on Social Media to not having the time allowance to “we don’t know what to say.”
But this boils down to the simplest aspect of marketing and that’s being where your market is, because if you are not there, chances are, your competition already is. It’s easier to think of Social Media as a tool, use it to supplement your current marketing campaign. Setting goals for your company within the parameters of Social Media is a lot easier than you think.
The Glen Garry Glenn Ross Approach:
When I was in college, being a young father with kids, I worked selling advertising for a local alternative weekly. I hated cold calling. HATED IT. We were new, fighting against an established paper and would constantly get hung up on. But the businesses that I was able to frequent and build relationships with were the ones that I closed on a regular basis.
What if I told you that I had an easy-to-use tool that can be used to get rid of that not-so-great feeling of cold calls and being rejected? Wouldn’t you be willing to use that tool? What if I told you that you could easily save money and time for your salespeople by using a free tool to establish relationships, appointments and even close sales with this same tool?
Wouldn’t you go out and use it? Of course you would.
Twitter can save time and money by building relationships, set appointments, gather information on competitors….all the things that companies and their salespeople used to kill for!
What in the world can I possibly talk about?
I like to give this example; I was asked by a local company that provides brake services at your location. They wanted to be on Twitter and take advantage of Social Media. My recommendations to them was to tweet out not only work hours or the radius of their businesses, but also such things as the latest specs on brakes by DOT and other governmental agencies that police that sort of thing. Or tweet out such things as the new green brake pads that are proving to be more effective in braking without the environmental impact that pads of the past had. As I’ve said before, take off your business glasses, they do you no good at times. Look at things through your users’ point-of-view.
What would this have to do with it? The basics of business tell you that whenever employees are more empowered, they provide better service to not only the customer, but also to the company. Empower them, but use common sense and inform them that they are communicating on behalf of the company; just as they would using email or making a phone call.
What You Can’t Do….
You cannot sit idly by and hope that you can get by without using Social Media anymore. Yes, there are issues that you should consider first. But there are multiple monitoring tools that can be utilized for keyword alerts for your company and even yourself personally if you’re a brand. Companies in this age of accountability CAN NOT afford to have their name raked through the mud at the Twitter water cooler.
Best case scenario is to hand out cups while you (meaning your brand/company) are standing at the proverbial water cooler.