Engage, Don’t Push.

Engage, Don’t Push.

I had the pleasure of attending the BMA Chicago January luncheon with Scott Brandt, the CMO of Sprout Social, who discussed the evolution of social media and its business impacts. In case you weren’t aware, engagement is crucial and our approach needs to change. In other words, stop talking, start listening.

Here are three social trends Brandt says to look out for in 2017:

  1. From promos to dialogue. To put it simply if you do not speak to your customers they will leave you. One in three customers will leave and go somewhere else if you don’t respond to them via social in time. They expect a response within 4 hours, and that time is shrinking. Social media is not just a function of marketing; it needs to be built based on interdepartmental collaboration including customer service.
  2. Attribution & analytics: redefine what matters. Social commerce is real. Seventy-five percent of people go onto to purchase something that they saw on social media first. Understand that social really does have an impact on sales; it drives it. We need to look toward deeper attribution and answering that eternal question; what is the ROI of social? It’s not easy, but is attainable.
  3. New tech: optimize & streamline experience. Live experiences have taken off. Live of anything has taken off. We can now see what everyone is doing and where, and people want to know about it. But, let’s discuss messaging. We need to engage with customers or they WILL LEAVE. Automated bots can sometimes be a good and quick way for you to send responses to customers, but know this is not fully engaging because they will only get a surface-level response.

“Fish where the fish are,” Scott said, meaning you need to understand your customers, find out where they are, and know what they want. By understanding your customers, you can provide relevant content on the right social channels and then you can talk to them.

Just remember: engage, don’t push.