12 Ways to Respect Your Customers on Social Media

Veteran’s Day Social Media Lessons

Today we honor and thank our veterans, the brave men and women, who have served our nation throughout the years. Each one is a hero in his or her own right who deserves our respect.  Marketers can learn a lot from our military’s men and women especially regarding how to conduct themselves on social media.

For example, during World War II, my father was a cryptographer in London where he coded and decoded top secret military communications. Due to his high level security clearance, he was trusted with top secrets which he kept. By understanding the military’s guidelines and protocols, my dad built trust and respect, attributes which are at the heart of social media.

Just as we pay tribute to our service men and women, businesses must do the same for their customers.  Here are twelve ways to show respect for your prospects, customers and the public. Understand that your reach needs to extend beyond your customers to show your can work with prospects and the public.

  1. Instill your own honor code. Assume a level of civility and respect for your customers, other employees and the public. Go beyond offering lip service that the customer is always right. Set standards for how people should act towards others within your organization.
  2. Build team spirit among your employees. Train your employees to work together like a company of soldiers to do the best for your customers.
  3. Trust your customers. This is at the heart of all transactions. It’s difficult to trust a business that doesn’t trust you. In today’s marketplace, this is a critical component for consumers.
  4. Acknowledge your prospects, customers and the public. Your target audience is composed of real people who deserve your respect regardless of their purchase status. This applies across all social media platforms.
  5. Be positive and supportive on social media. Let your customers know that you’re there for them. This provides a sense of security and enhances how your customers feel about you. Are you a resource they can trust and turn to?
  6. Be an information resource. Customers actively seek product related information before, during and after purchase. Help them by creating and curating relevant information they seek.
  7. Give your customers the straight story. In other words, tell the truth. Sooner or later, someone, whether it’s a customer, employee or industry expert will expose your falsehoods and obfuscations.
  8. Play to people’s better instincts. Assume the best about your public. Play up the positives of your offering, rather than cutting down your competitors.
  9. Answer prospect and customer questions promptly and professionally. Understand that customers will use every platform including social media to get their product-related questions answered. Make it easy for them by having processes in place to respond. Realize that only 30% of businesses do this.
  10. Thank your customers. Remember without customers you don’t have a business. Show that you appreciate their support. Use a variety of platforms including email and social media.
  11. Highlight your customers’ contributions. Interview and/or spotlight your customers and their work. This is particularly easy with DIY and crafts.
  12. Show leadership and responsibility on social media. Provide useful information that’s free of any negative or derogatory implications.

When it comes to social media, you must think about respecting and serving your customers to become their hero.

How else do you show your respect for your customers on social media?

Thank you to all of our veterans,

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

If you’d like to support an  Iraqi war veteran with both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star, please contribute to Tom Deierlien’s Foundation. A West Point graduate, Tom started this work while stationed in Iraq before he was wounded. He continues to help get medical help to save children without red tape!

BTW-This article used this content marketing inspiration.

Here are some related articles of interest.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/455406726/

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