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The Power of Requests and Questions: Using Social Media to Ask the Right Questions Makes You a Successful Entrepreneur

The Power of Requests and Questions: Using Social Media to Ask the Right Questions Makes You a Successful Entrepreneur

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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

virgin mobile complaint handling

    (The above example was taken from the article: “Marketing: How to Provide Great Customer Service Via Social Media”).

    Ask Your Peers For Advice

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    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.

    Conclusion

    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

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    Last Updated on January 14, 2019

    The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

    The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

    Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

    We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

    You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

    Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

    Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

    1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

    Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

    Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

    You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

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    Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

    Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

    2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

    Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

    Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

    3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

    Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

    How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

    Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

    Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

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    Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

    4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

    It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

    With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

    If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

    Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

    Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

    5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

    Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

    However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

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    Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

    If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

    With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

    Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

    6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

    The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

    You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

    A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

    By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

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    • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
    • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
    • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
    • Is this aligned with my passion?
    • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

    Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

    7. Be Prepared to Let Go

    It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

    Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

    If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

    When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

    Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

    We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

    The Bottom Line

    Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

    More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

    Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

    Reference

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