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When All Else Fails….Turn to Social Selling

Social Selling

During the COVID:19 Pandemic, business owners have had to be very creative in order to survive. In an instant, an owner may be left with no customers. What is next? Creative thinking to the rescue! Interestingly enough, many find new ways of selling their goods and services. Social selling is one option.

A great example of this is how a Minnesota Farmer got quite creative when faced with meat processing plants closing suddenly. One farmer had 1200 pigs that were ready for slaughter, with nowhere to go. “We went from having planned all of this 10 months out, having a market for these pigs – that flipped on a switch,” Kluver said. Brad Kluver is a third generation pig farmer, who has never seen something like this happen. He goes on to say that they were stuck, with no alternatives and the pigs were getting fatter every day.

Social Media To the Rescue!

So the family decided to try selling their pigs in social media. They turned to their community for help through their social media accounts.

“In just 48 hours, we had over 400 families reach out to us wanting to purchase pork and help support us through this,” Brad said. “We were left high and dry with nowhere to go and nowhere to turn and that’s where our community stepped up.”

The family was also able to get connected with other, smaller pork producers who were able to take some of their pigs and get them ready to be sold to consumers. 

Time to Try Social Selling?

Social selling is really nothing new, however, it is new to some industries. The impact of COVID-19 has made everyone more aware of social selling and it will be interesting to watch and see if this trend continues. When you think of social selling, LinkedIn comes to mind. LinkedIn has been the best place to date to build relationships and acquire more customers. This is especially true for B2B companies.

However, now is a great time to start building your social media community. It doesn’t matter if it is in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram. The Pig Farm story is a good example of social media ROI. I bet the farmer never would have thought this online community would be of benefit to him at any time now or in the future. But it was. It may also make him think of his business differently post COVID.

Consumer Reports recently reported on the increased importance of social media customer service which goes hand in hand with social selling. Once you commit to being there, you must maintain it and monitor it. Customers are eager to reach out to you there. To get that personalized service that everyone wants these days.

Maintenance goes a long way in social as well as your website. As more and more people turn to online shopping for essentials, be sure:

  • Outbound links in social media are all in working order.
  • Contact information correct.

Take time now to be sure everything is up to speed. Are there ways to increase your followers? How well are you engaging? You never know when it will all come in handy in ways you never would have thought!

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Customer Trust – Glass Half Empty or Glass Half Full?

Customer Trust

How does a business gain customer trust? How does a business gain trust in uncertain times? Very important questions. It requires some real thought. The quietness we are all in is the perfect time to step back and evaluate. Soon businesses will reopen and begin new business’ models for the times we are in. Customer trust is critical for survival. In my opinion, it has never been more important.

Winners and Losers

I have seen CEO’s posting in Linkedin about what they are currently doing to retain customers. They are, in part, establishing brand trust. A large restaurant chain offered a catering style dinner delivered, with the exact specifications of the customer. I mark that one a “glass half full” rating because they are pivoting to the new norm. Not to mention the convenience they are offering those families who are home schooling kids while working full time jobs. Great job TGIFridays! They took it a step further by offering to go Meal Kits. I love this and I bet their customers do too. When you check out their website you see true transparency. Another win!

Ice Cream Chain Confuses Customer

An ice cream chain of restaurants are an example of “glass half empty” rating. I recently stumbled on this Facebook post by an unhappy customer.

Customer waits for almost 30 minutes in a drive through lane, trying to bring home ice cream treats for the family perhaps, only to get to the window to read a sign about COVID-19 PPE requirements for the first time. Better yet, I checked out their website, and there is nothing there about COVID-19. No messaging whatsoever. It is like COVID-19 is not even happening in their world. Zero transparency. Notice that this post was commented on by 186 people, but who knows how many people viewed it without leaving a comment. As I scrolled through the comments, a few people discussed how the customer service at this location has been deteriorating for some time. Sadly, this business will never see this post because they are not listening well online.

Social Media Impact & Reach

Social media usage is up right now, which makes social media listening for customer service even better. Leaning in on social data now will help build customer trust.

People in general, your customers, are stressed. They have certain expectations for the businesses they love. What do you think will happen when this is all over and the ice cream store is open for dine in? Would you remember this experience and try out a new ice cream store instead? Let me take it one step further. Let’s say this customer does try out a competitor and they find that their product is not as stellar but their customer experience is fantastic! Speed, delivery and a smile. Recovery from this kind of poor customer service is long lasting. Who can afford that right now?

Leaning in on Customer Insights

The word cloud is a great visual of what we are feeling right now. Another “glass is half full” award goes to ChatDesk and their recent blog post on “How Are Your Customers Feeling About Coronavirus / COVID-19?” Excellent Social Media Listening! It pretty much recommends that we all put ourselves in our customer’s shoes right now.

Listen Like This

*Blog by: Kathy Doering, President of Ann Michaels & Associates. The above example is only one way in which we listen on behalf of our customers. If this is something you would like to see up close and personal, please schedule a demo with use here.

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There’s an Emoji Revolution Taking Place

Emoji Revolution

The Emoji revolution is taking over as a very creative form of expression. Did you ever think we would reach a point in society where a smiley face would change the way we communicate with one another? There are thousands of emojis being used every day and new ones being created. You can uncover a wealth of information by taking a closer look at the emotion behind an emoji used, whether online from a customer or through a text message. From the most popular ones used to the least noticed. Emotional data behind an emoji can be more enlightening and descriptive than listening to words themselves.  

The Emoji Shift During COVID-19

Just last week Horizon Media came out with a study on the emotional shift that took place in the United States during COVID-19, just by analyzing emojis. They took over 28 million Tweets and divided their findings based on gender and geography to reveal patterns. Their goal was to evaluate the difference between emoji use during the crisis and prior to the pandemic.   

In conclusion, the study revealed a more carefree emotion prior to the pandemic taking place. The emotions portrayed during the spread of the coronavirus was a mix of grim and reflective emotions. The top 100 emojis used drastically changed to “Medical Masks,” “Microbe” and “Angry Faces with Symbols.” They ultimately discovered people were expressing thoughtful emotions.  

What Can Emoji Data Do For Your Business?

Analyzing the data provided in a study such as Horizon Media, allows you to change the tone of your upcoming campaigns, the direction of your marketing, selling or online content. Shifting alongside the tone of your customers permits you to stay relevant with your audience.  This may mean incorporating emojis. It would be ideal to use your customers’ favorite emojis, especially as it is used in your brand messaging, and begin using them in your marketing.

Listening to your customers online is an essential part to any business, but what about understanding what your customers are saying through a symbol? Easily interpret the online tone and emotion of your customers through our brand listening program. Emoji symbols are compiled into one easy to access report. Understand the sentiment behind an emoji. Learn more about your social footprint by tracking online and social conversation about your brand, product, campaign or management team.

Other services we offer:

Crisis Management

Competitive Intelligence

Influencer Network

Content Analysis

Social Channel Analytics

Hashtag Tracking

Campaign Monitoring

Are you ready to roll with the emoji revolution? Contact Kathy Doering at kdoering@ishopforyou.com for more information on how to implement this program.

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