One of the biggest challenges business owners face is getting to get to know their customers. What do they want? How do they feel about the product they've purchased? How can the business grow, and provide a better experience that will attract new customers?
Recently, the social media landscape has exploded with tools and platforms that can help your business ask the right questions, and even more importantly, get quality answers from customers, prospects, and other professionals in the field. We are used to thinking that social media is a place to create and manage relationships. As the years have gone by, social media outlets transitioned into platforms that help us manage not only relationships, but wisdom as well. As a business, you now have the opportunity to listen and engage with current and potential customers, in order to shape your product or service according to unmet demand.
Here are 4 tips and tools that will help you get started.
1. Share content in a form of a question
Using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and others, to share content (whether your own or from other people in your niche), can help you drive engagement from your audience about a specific topic, and get a sense of what interests them.
Sharing interesting content on social media can start a conversation between you and your followers. Take GE for example, the most engaging content shared on their page is questions. The reason? A question is more likely to drive better engagement from your audience, because people would like to contribute their answers. It's a win-win situation for both sides. Your business can ask questions related to each piece of content shared on its page, and the audience can take advantage of it to make their voice heard.
2. Twitter Q&A
Twitter is a without a doubt one of the best platforms to manage your community. An interesting trend that's happening now on Twitter, is to use your feed to hold a Q&A session with your followers. The idea is simple, you get someone from your business, whether it's your community manager or a top executive, to dedicate one hour to read and respond to questions posted by your followers. Usually, a Q&A session with a well-known executive will drive more interest within your community than a regular Q&A with your community manager.
Through the session, your audience can get answers to the questions they always wanted to ask; questions about your product, future plans, and company culture. Interacting in this way allows them to feel like they are a part of your organization, helps them relate to your business, and ultimately gets them to become more loyal.
As a person who is always on the hunt for the next big thing, this wonderful Q&A platform is one of the best things to ever happen to me. Quora allows you to discover the answers to questions you would have never thought to ask (but now you're glad you know), and connects you to the world's best experts on whatever questions you did mean to ask.
This platform did something startling to my search habits - it's so good, that I stopped using Google when I have a 'Why' or 'How' question. I immediately go to Quora and search there instead. Being able to quickly find quality content produced by professionals and passionate people allows me to save valuable time when searching for an answer.
Another interesting Q&A service is Stack Exchange, which basically lets you wander around 100+ Q&A websites to find the answers for your question.
4. Google Hangouts
Google+ has become a platform that businesses should no longer ignore. One of the biggest advantages of this network is the possibility to communicate with your audience through video chat, via Google Hangouts.
Hosting a video chat with your community can be even more efficient than all of the aforementioned tips. Speaking to someone face-to-face avoids the slow back and forth of questions and answers that come with comments or tweets. A real conversation can be much more meaningful, and provide deeper insight for you as a business owner or manager.
Using your social media platforms to ask the right questions and get the answers you were looking for can help you save you time in shaping your strategy, business, and community.
So the big questions is... what are you waiting for?
Images Credit: © Copyright Marco Bellucci