A fundamental part of the sales process always involves establishing trust. While that’s often easier face-to-face, catalogers and online merchants still have plenty of tools to rely on: guarantees, testimonials, customer reviews, knowledgeable sales reps, product comparisons, the depth of information provided.
In social media, there’s one vital element in establishing trust that many marketers ignore. Perhaps more than any other variable, responsiveness creates trust in social media. Ignore comments from customers and prospects, and it appears you’re not listening. Take too long to respond, and it appears you don’t care.
Many marketers respond only to comments directed specifically to them – say, on their company Facebook page. Smart marketers keep tabs on what’s being said about them in outside forums and blogs, and join the conversation.
Keep in mind that when you use social media to respond to a customer or prospect, your entire market is watching and forming an opinion as a result. What’s more, you’re not the only one directing conversations about your company any more. So take off your blinders, see what’s being said about you, and jump into the discussion – the sooner, the better!