Here’s a question for you: Do you use social media for your business? You probably said yes, right? But here’s another question for you: Do you use social media to connect with your customers or your peers? You said yes again, right? But this next question might get you to start thinking: Do you ever use social media to ask your peers or your customers what they actually want from you? If you have said yes to the question above then well done. You won’t need to read the rest of this article. But if the above question has made you question your usage of social media, then you will find this article of good use.
The Common Mistake
A common mistake amongst many fresh faced entrepreneurs is that they only use social media to gain exposure for themselves. They hardly ever interact with their customers or with their peers. If you are only using social media to gain exposure for your business, then you are using social media the wrong way.
But before you get to learn how you can use social media to ask the right questions, here’s an interesting statistic that was written by Iris Vermeren in her article “Marketing: How to Provide Great Customer Service Via Social Media”:
“Research shows that nearly half of all US consumers use social media to ask questions, to complain or to report satisfaction and a third of social media users prefer social media customer service to a phone call.”
In other words, social media has become a very powerful medium for people to express their opinions.
And here’s another statistic which shows that more people are checking their Facebook profile very regularly on a daily basis. A report published in the Daily Mail said Facebook’s smartphone app was visited, on average, 14 times a day.
Many businesses have become aware of this statistic and they have started adding their own e-commerce page on their Facebook business page thanks to Shopify’s Facebook Store App. This gave people the convenience of shopping without ever having to leave Facebook.
But the best way to get the most out of social media is to harness the power of asking. As mentioned in my previous article here on Lifehack called “The Power of Requests and Questions: How Asking Makes You A Successful Entrepreneur”, successful entrepreneurs have the ability to ask. And this skill can easily be transferred to social media.
How to Ask on Social Media
Ask Your Customers for Feedback on Your Product or Service
Andrew Pressault’s article entitled “How to Use Social Media to Engage Your Customers and Build Your Brand” mentions that by asking the right questions, you build strong customer engagement.
One way to engage your customers is by asking your customers for feedback on your product and service. The feedback you receive can help you understand your customer’s needs and wants. Plus, by giving your customer a chance to give feedback shows you value their opinion.
If your customer feedback is not very positive, don’t be too disheartened. Getting critical feedback can help you to try and improve your product or service. There are many ways you can gain feedback. You can ask for feedback through posting either online polls or surveys on your social media business page.
Ask Your Customers What They Want
Besides asking for feedback, taking the time to know your customers will help you understand what they really want. Asking for this valuable information can help you meet new customer demands by either improving your product or creating a entirely new one.
You can find out about your customers wants and needs by giving them the opportunity to express their opinion via free text in your social media surveys. Free text boxes gives your customers the freedom to write what they want and in great detail too.
Ask Questions About Current Trends
Thanks to social media, you can find out what your customers are talking about by keeping up-to-date with the latest trending topics. So, if you have seen a trending topic that is of interest to your target market, you can ask your customers (or followers) for their opinion on the topic. This helps you build strong customer relations and raise brand awareness.
And with Twitter recently announcing a partnership with Google, commenting on the latest trending topics can help you raise your profile. It is a great way to gain exposure to any potential customer who is googling to know more about the latest trend.
Ask Unhappy Customers Why They Are Not Happy About Your Product/Service
As mentioned earlier in this article, almost half of US customers go to social media to complain about a product or service. When you become aware of a customer who is expressing their dissatisfaction, you need to be able to handle these situations with care.
The best way to do this is to ask your customers why they had a bad experience. Asking the right set of questions will help you resolve the issue. Here’s an example of a mobile network company dealing with a complaint on social media:
(The above example was taken from the article: “Marketing: How to Provide Great Customer Service Via Social Media”).
Ask Your Peers For Advice
Just like you, your peers use social media to raise their online profile. The best way for your peers to raise their profile is to be helpful. So use this knowledge to your advantage. If you have reached a road block in your entrepreneurial venture, then you can ask your peers for advice. Thanks to social media, you can contact your peers more easily.
In most cases, your peers, whether they are your colleague or well-renowned industry expert, will be happy to help you with your request. But before you start making your request, there’s something you have to keep in mind. Your peers will be bombarded with loads of different requests, all at the same time, so they may not be able to respond to your query. But don’t let this deter you because there is no harm to asking them for advice in the first place. When you make your request, be polite and respectful to them.
You can make your request by sending your peer a private personal message to their social media profile. In your message, don’t go straight in with your request. Give them a positive comment on their recent work which relates to your request. This shows that you acknowledge and respect them and helps you build rapport.
Social media can help you raise your profile if used the right way. Rather than using social media to gain exposure for your business, you can harness the power of asking.
This article has shown you how you can use the power of asking on social media to gain customer feedback, to find out what your customers want, to ask your target market for their opinions on current trending topics and to resolve any issues. You can also use social media to ask your peers for advice so you can further progress with your entrepreneurial venture.
So use the power of asking on social media. You will be surprised at how far you can get.
Featured photo credit: Universidad de Montemorelos via flickr.com