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Hands On

What Can You Say? Plenty

Technology facilitates the communication with your current and potential clients. But the selection of channels is vast. Here are two trends to get you started

Matt Duczeminski
February 05 2018

There’s no denying that technology has made connecting with your customers easier than ever before. That is, as long as said marketers know how to utilize these technological advances to their fullest capacity. In this article, we’ll take a look at two major ways you can use mobile apps to connect with your customers – and learn a ton about them in the process.

Stay Current on Social Media

The key to using any given platform is to use it in the ways your customer expects you to. In other words, it’s not enough to just have a Facebook page or Instagram account for your brand; you need to constantly figure out ways in which you can use the newest features these platforms offer to your advantage. In terms of engaging with your customers, the addition of live video and ephemeral content on a number of social media platforms has proven to be incredibly effective. Live video allows you to broadcast multimedia content to your followers in real-time.

Not only does this allow you to do things like showcase your expertise, provide “behind-the-scenes” previews of upcoming announcements, and provide other such customer-facing content; it also allows you to solicit and elicit information from your most loyal followers, as well. The most popular live video channels (e.g., Facebook Live, Instagram Live) let audience members leave questions or comments as you broadcast, and depending on the complexity of the question or comment, reply either on-the-fly or at a later time. Once you’ve wrapped up your broadcast, you can also go back and read through your audience’s chat log to gain extra insights you may have missed while live-streaming.

Ephemeral content (i.e., short-lived content that is only available for a set amount of time) is another trend is quickly becoming a go-to among marketers yearning to increase engagement. We’ve written before about how to use Snapchat to your advantage, and how you can promote engagement through similar platforms. On the surface, ephemeral content is seemingly a one-way street, but there are a number of ways you can use it to elicit responses from your followers, such as:

  • Asking a question or posting a poll
  • Announcing contests requesting customers post pictures or videos of them using your product
  • Ask followers to send pictures back using geofilters (allowing you to gather geographic data)

The most important thing to keep in mind when using new social media features is to not just use it for the sake of doing so. As with all marketing ventures, you absolutely need to develop a social media game plan that focuses on engaging with your customers in an authentic, real-world manner.

Capitalize on Micro-Moments

People these days are so impatient. That’s not just the grumpy old man in me talking, either. According to a report commissioned by Fetch in 2017, the population as a whole is becoming more and more impatient as time goes on – and as our reliance on technology increases. With that said, as marketers and service providers, you need to make it your duty to be there for your customers right when they need you. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have support staff on-call at all times. What you do need to do is ensure your customers can find the information they need, or can accomplish what they want to accomplish, with as little friction as possible.

These so-called “micro-moments” can be divided into four main types:

  • “I want to know”: The individual has a question that needs be answered
  • “I want to go”: The individual is looking for the service provider nearest them
  • “I want to do”: The individual needs instructions on how to complete a task
  • “I want to buy”: The individual is in “buying mode,” and wants to compare products, prices, etc.

You can (and should) have such information readily available on your website, social media pages, and any other channels your where your company operates a profile. But you can also use third-party platforms and apps, such as Reddit or Quora, to provide answers and information to individuals as soon as they submit their questions. Not only are the communities of these respective platforms absolutely enormous, but the platforms tend to rank among the top of search engine results – allowing you to gain maximum visibility once you become active.

To supplement these initiatives, you can use apps like Mention, which monitor the web for posts related to specific keywords – in turn allowing you to get a jump on micro-moments virtually in real-time. Again, not only does capitalizing on micro-moments allow you to showcase your expertise and position yourself as an industry expert, but it also gives you up-to-the-minute information regarding the needs of your target consumers. In turn, you can use this data to continually upgrade and improve your products and services, ensuring you always stay one step ahead of your competition.

Keep Looking Ahead

By definition, trends are always in-flux. As is often the case, by the time the general population has caught onto a trend, it’s already way past its prime. With that in mind, it’s important that you keep abreast of upcoming consumer-related trends, and dig deep into how to squeeze as much value from these trends as you possibly can. Today, live video, ethereal content, and micro-moments are huge (and show no signs of going away anytime soon); if you’re not using these methods to their fullest potential, you’re missing out.

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Matt Duczeminski

Matt is a professional writer specializing in helping entrepreneurs improve relationships with their customers. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Sarah, and he'd probably get a lot more work done if his cat would stop bothering him.

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