There’s so much talk about brands being active on social media – creating content, having conversations, engaging, etc. – that sometimes what consumers want brands to do gets lost in the mix. Here’s a list of what’s on their wish list:
1. Listen: For obvious reasons, there is a lot focus on monitoring but the first step for brands is simply listening to what consumers saying about their products, services and the competition. Unfortunately, consumers have learned if they talk loud enough on social media, companies will bend over backward to make them happy. Many brands are learning, however, that listening and then acknowledging you’ve listened is often good enough.
2. Free stuff: Something I often describe as “carrots”, consumers want the opportunity to get something for nothing. This explains why contests are so popular with both brands and consumers. Just the idea of winning something can be more than enough to get a new follower, “Like” or a regular visitor to a social service.
3. Content that engages, enlightens and/or entertains: While content is king, it can’t be content for the sake of content; it needs to provide some “value”. At the same time, content needs to create on a consistent basis, otherwise you risk losing your audience.
4. Fun: Let’s face it, social media is a distraction for consumers as much as it is a way for them to do research and make recommendations. If you can’t provide consumers with a few giggles or fun, they’ll get bored. Whether it’s a contest, poll, the opportunity to ask a question, or create something to show the world, the fun factor can make a major difference.
5. Customer service: The “killer app” of the social media, customer service is an straightforward way to meet the needs of consumers. Whether they have a complaint, question, feedback, suggestion or a compliment, social media is a great way to serve the customer.
6. Honesty: If a company screws up or does something off-side, social media is an effective platform to be honest and sincere. It doesn’t mean you have to apologize for every miscue but consumers appreciate public signs of honesty and transparency.