Is a connection a conversation or a fantasy?
“Always-on/always-on-you devices provide three powerful fantasies: that we will always be heard; that we can put our attention wherever we want it to be; and that we never have to be alone. Indeed, our new devices have turned being alone into a problem that can be solved,” says the New York Times and quoted in an excellent post by MediaPost Publications, Engage: Gen Y: Disconnection in a Connected World.
From a sales perspective, this is both good and better. Absolutely get your message out with social media, if for no other reason, because your customers are looking – craving – for something to do. They might as well check their email and read an email from you (so much better than feeling lonely!), review the article link you provide (how important they feel waiting for the airplane door to open!), catch up on their LinkedIn “connections” and like you on Facebook (the more friends the better!). (Sorry for that shameless plug.) Use the “thousand points of contact one’s business has with the world” to build your brand and your reputation. Why? The Wall Street Journal, reported by Paul Zak, said, “Even the sort of “social snacking” that happens through Twitter or checking out a friend’s Facebook page can prompt an oxytocin surge.” Cool. Very.
Then, once they trust that you won’t “sell” them, that you will provide them with relevant, authentic information, ask for the next step.
What is an appropriate next step? Most often, it’s a conversation – an opportunity to hear your voice and experience a dialogue in real time. Use the foundation created by social media to earn the right to phone them to learn more about their needs.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re having a meaningful conversation unless you are.