Connecting with Customers

Me in the press again. This time in the InBusiness magazine by Chambers Ireland. Here are a few snippets:

“PEOPLE WILL BE COMFORTABLE BUYING FROM A COMPANY THAT HAS THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE RECOMMENDING THEM.” – Ivan Stojanovic

Conventional advertising and marketing strategies are typically one-way communications with the product or service provider addressing customers. However, social media and social networking sites offer businesses the opportunity to engage with their customers or clients. Blogs, forums and profile pages can reach a large potential market, are free, and will allow a company to conduct market research and respond to the needs of their customers. It’s important to remember that your aim is to encourage customers to visit your website where they can get more information andenquire about making a purchase. “Facebook itself will not sell your products or services directly,” says Ivan Stojanovic. “However, if used correctly, it will bring visitors who should then be encouraged to leave comments about your offering. Your company blog will also drive relevant interested visitors to your company page where they can purchase your products or services.”

Ivan Stojanovic InBusiness

Building visibility and brand awareness on social networking sites is relatively easy. Building credibility, on the other hand, takes time and effort. However, once that is achieved, third-party recommendations can be a major boost for your business. Stojanovic agrees: “People will be comfortable buying from a company that has thousands of people recommending them, and not a single unhappy customer. eBay pioneered the introduction of social media on their existing merchant site. When you buy something, you can rate a supplier. This brought trust into online shopping and made eBay the largest online shopping site.”

Marketing to the masses InBusiness Autumn 09 2009 / 31