Most of the hype in social media is aimed at page promotion, getting liked and followed.
One area that often escapes mainstream attention is the incredible platform that social media provides to acquire more personal information about people that you can then apply in a meaningful way.
To inspire with words and actions you will need to genuinely make the effort to get to know your customers as people, not just dollar signs. They may not want to get to you know you better, and that’s okay, but there is no harm in making the effort.
I connect with most of my key clients and contacts in social networks, because I want to learn more about them. For example, Facebook serves up details such as the names of family members and favourite activities, as well as the restaurants they frequent, sporting teams they support and even where they went to school and with whom.
Who needs a private detective when we have social media?
Profiles on professional site LinkedIn provide information about a client’s network and, if someone you know is connected to them, you can quickly ask them for some insights. Never before could we access this type of information about someone without developing a direct relationship with them.
The sceptics may say this development has dangerous ramifications and that enhanced transparency will lead to an increase in deceptive behaviour. I tend to agree, but like anything in life, the devil dwells in extremes.
The information people display in this medium is meaningful to them, so make it meaningful to you. Don’t use personal details to manipulate, use them to communicate in a way that demonstrates a genuine interest in your customers as people instead of potential transactions. Common sense should always prevail: respect the boundaries of others and don’t be too quick to judge. Often a public face is what people want you to see, which can be misleading.
Interestingly, the more you know about your customers, the less you will need to sell to them.