12 Ways to Engage Your Audience Online

Consumer insights on engaging your audience online

Great webinar by Scott Stratten the author of Unmarketing, entitled, “Unmarketing: Top Tools and Techniques for Engaging Your Audience Online.”

I had the pleasure of seeing Scott speak at a local American Marketing Association event more than a year ago and his message continues to resonate.

Some thought-starters to consider:

  • There are no such thing as online and offline tools — everything is a tool and every interaction your prospect or customer has with your company is marketing.
  • Social media is not a sales and marketing tool, it’s a communication tool.
  • People will tend to be passive in person but aggressive online.  If you have a customer service issue to resolve, do your best to resolve it in person or in real-time online so when the consumer gets online, they rave about the service you provided rather than complain.
  • Most negative customer service incidents happen on a small-scale and add up over time.  Don’t let the customer service incidents add up.  Ask the consumer about their experience every time and let them know you want to know if it’s not up to their expectations.

Following are the 12 tools I took away from Scott’s presentation:

  1. To be great at customer service, you only have to be average because everyone else sucks.  Giving a damn about your customer differentiates you.  The quick correction of a poor customer experience can make you and your company look better than it did before the mistake.  When you screw-up, it’s time to be awesome and provide over the top customer service.
  2. The customer experience sells — not brochures.  The people on the front line are the lowest paid yet have the highest impact on sales.
  3. Marketing is not a task, it’s a verb.  Your brand is defined by every customer interaction.  Mission doesn’t matter to the customer.  Word-of-mouth happens when you make someone who is static ecstatic.
  4. People spread awesome, not normal, average or mediocre.  How awesome has spread has evolved from email to social media.  As such, we have to get better at providing awesome customer experiences — levels or deeds of customer service that people will tell their friends and families about.
  5. There are so many social media channels available today, you need to understand what your target audience is using and hang out there.
  6. Blog when you have something awesome to say.  Respect your readers’ time and inbox.
  7. You need a mobile friendly site so that it will load quickly and people are able to download information of value quickly.
  8. Stop making people jump through hoops to register on your site or for your news letter.  CAPTCHA is not user-friendly.  You lose 10 to 30% of potential sign-ups for every field in your registration beyond name and email address.
  9. Twitter is a conversation, not dictation.  Aspire to have a conversation with people.  People do business with who they know, like and trust.  You cannot build a relationship through dictation.
  10. Respond immediately.  Be present.  Do not automate tweets and posts if you are not prepared to engage the respondent in a dialogue in a timely manner.
  11. You cannot automate authenticity and transparency.
  12. Don’t feed the trolls, the naysayers.  Do not reply to them.  This is not the same as customers with legitimate customer service issues.

For those of you who don’t think social media is worth your time because your target audience isn’t using it, consider that 117 million adults in the U.S. use social media — 50% of U.S. adults.

You cannot measure the ROI of being awesome.  When people come to you with a problem, it’s time to be awesome.  Respond offline and online as well.

How do you engage your audience online?

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About Insights From Analytics

Integrated marketing professional who generates insights from analytics to increase revenue. Daily blog now resides at www.insightsfromanalytics.com/blog.
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