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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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3 Ways to Manage Customer Expectations

Let’s face it- if we knew our customers’ expectations every second of every day, we would work hard to meet them. In today’s diverse, ever changing world, it is nearly impossible to know that. Consumers today have so many choices that it becomes difficult to stand out from competitors.

What do your customers expect?

Service is praised or criticized because of expectations.”

Neil Patel

Steps to Start Today to Understand Customer Expectations

  1. Listen: It sounds so easy to say, but harder to do. How do you listen to your customers? Is it by survey? Mystery shopping? Social Listening? I once spoke to a leading retailer’s VP of Operations about creating a mystery shopping program for their stores. They knew they needed it because their district managers were being pulled in too many directions and didn’t have the time to devote to each store in their district. They never started it. The reason? They were trying to figure out who their customer was. A few years later, they were out of business. They were never able to keep up with their customers’ expectations because they never knew who their customers were. They never learned how to listen.
  2. Get Feedback From Customers: Customer Experience for Dummies said it best. “When it comes to getting feedback from customers, annual surveys are out, and constant listening and providing real-time dialogue is in. That means you need to inventory where you are listening effectively today, prioritizing your highest-value listening and dialogue touchpoints, and creating a governance model for managing and responding to customer feedback. The end game here is to be able to converse with your customers in near real-time and to respond to customer concerns, problems, and suggestions as they are happening.” Omni-channel listening is key.
  3. Demonstrate to Customers Your Level of Commitment to Them: The chart above is from Neil Patel’s “Why Understanding Expectations is Crucial for Customer Experience.” Great article about backing up the bus to first and foremost understand what your customers need from you and then determine how you and your team will meet those needs. Neil writes, “Service is praised or criticized because of expectations.” Making sure you are delivering top notch customer service has never been more important. Years ago Zappos helped a customer who called them by mistake order a pizza. This became an infamous story of the day and everyone wanted to deliver service like Zappos. Zappos began to develop an entire philosophy around this by expanding it in their social media marketing. Help the customer with whatever they need. What does it take? An extra few minutes? They will sing your praises. Always try to under promise and over deliver whenever you can, especially in social media.

Ann Michaels & Assoc. provides you the resources to make data driven decisions associated with your customers and branding. Give us the opportunity to help you grow margins and revenues.

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Social Media and Customer Service

Customer Service

The secret is out in living color on the cover of Consumer Reports – how to use social media as the last chance way to get some attention when unhappy with a product or service. This issue shares secrets to great customer service, and social media use is one of them.
Consumer Reports states that 84% of consumers who posted complaints to social media used Facebook.
The report goes on to suggest that social media can be a highly effective way to resolve customer complaints, even when other approaches fail.


JCPenney is one retailer that was cited as having great customer service via Twitter.


When a customer reached out by phone and learned of the hold times, she quickly went to the company’s Twitter page. She said that their phone wait times were “nuts” and within minutes a representative quickly tweeted a reply. After a bit of back and forth, the issue was resolved.


As the chart indicates, the under 25 demographic shows an indication that they will be the ones who will expect this type of service moving forward, so making sure those wait times are on target will be well worth the effort.

Ann Michaels & Associates, a leader in Customer Experience and Social Media Management, conducted a study on this very topic

How long is too long when it comes to receiving an answer to a product or service question in social media?As the Consumer Reports article shows a consumer expectation, Ann Michaels & Associates set out to look at the disparity between what consumers expect as far as wait time for brands to respond to consumer concerns vs what is actually happening.on social.
The study was initiated when it was evident social would serve as a customer service channel – take a look at consumer expectations vs brand response and learn how response time on social shifted over a three year period.
Click here to find out the results

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