Posted on : 05-11-2012 | By : Frank Eliason | In : Brands, Customer Service, Marketing, Social Media, Technology
This post originally appeared on LinkedIn as part of their influencer program on November 5, 2012. To see the original post click here.
I can’t seem to get the song ‘You Don’t Know Me By Now” out of my head lately. I am writing this in New Jersey shortly after Hurricane Sandy caused widespread destruction and has wreaked havoc for many of the great people within the New York/New Jersey community. I am proud to watch the community come together and bring back a sense of normalcy as quickly as possible. I have also seen an amazing outpouring of support from many people especially via social media. In some ways this has emphasized some of the great strengths that social media has. The ability to connect people is amazing.
As the song goes on to say, “If you do not know me by now, you will never, never know me.” This is so true of most companies I have seen during this crisis. Each day I received spam emails telling me how great products were, but the reality is I do not care about your product. I had more pressing things going on in life, such as the quest to have electric or help my fellow community members recover. The companies already had enough information to make this judgment but oftentimes chose to ignore it because they felt their marketing information was too powerful to ignore, or they felt I would just ignore it if I were not interested. Well I will not be ignoring it, but I will not be buying the product as well. It was a message to me how these companies do not care about me, so I will not care about them. Of course some companies did a better job. Surprisingly I saw some of the best understanding from companies we often love to hate, such as banks, cable companies, and at least one utility company (there is another that I would leave on the bad list but that will be a conversation for another day).
This song has so many words that correlate to all types of relationships, especially the connection that we are seeing between businesses and Consumers in a socially connected world. If you watch social conversations as much as I do, you have noticed that often Consumers, at times, are very negative toward brands. Well “We’ve all got our funny moods” and this is a reflection of that. Often this negativity is a reflection of that. Always remember that the opposite of love is not hate, but apathy. This negativity exists because your Customers want you to see success. The key is that they want the relationship to go both ways. As the song says, “Just trust in me like I trust in you.” Unfortunately this is not always part of our message to our Customer. We like to dictate to them instead of inviting them to be a part of something special.
We often look toward social as a way to get our message out, but in reality our message is meaningless. We send messages all the time to our Customers, and in social they can take the message to their audience. Winning within social is simply reflecting your message through all touch points and then allowing your Customers to take that message to the broader public. The challenge is that we have not always lived up to our end of the bargain, such as marketing messages that did not reflect the actual Customer experience. Many companies like to say how great their Customer service is when in reality, at least when we need them, it is horrible. Now is the time to change that.
In my book @YourService, I also talk about “Scalable Intimacy,” which in my mind is more pertinent than ever. Throughout the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, anyone could have followed what I stated in social media, and they could have easily known what was important to me, yet no company was able to correlate that to their marketing messages. It is really sad, especially because we have discussed the importance of listening in social for years, yet very few brands actually do it well.
So my message to businesses looking to bring social to scale, which can also be found in the song:, is as follows “Just get yourself together or might as well say goodbye. What good is a love affair when you can’t see eye to eye.”