What's In It for Them?

62% of consumers identify product news and information, 47% identify customer comments and reviews and 43% identify direct response to my questions when asked what type of information they find most important when connecting with brands, according to eMarketer. Consumers seek information they can learn from, feedback they can act on and community they can be part of.

In short, consumers want value. They want their relationship with a brand to pay off.

You’re Present, but Why Should I Care?

Being present isn’t enough. Social consumers aren’t looking for a brand that’s a good listener, and most brands aren’t even that. They’re loud self-promoters. Consumers want brands to take action to earn their business.

Social media can do just that as it has the potential be part of what your brand sells. Online customer service, exclusive brand information and improved relationship management allow brands to leverage social media as added value for their customers. Brands can go beyond their customers’ expectations.

At the end of the day, a brand’s social media followers aren’t there to serve the brand. They’re there to be served by the brand, and brands that deliver earn social currency that generates consumer trust and word of mouth referrals.

What Do We Do That Social Can Amplify?

Thriving brands deliver something their customers seek. Social media shouldn’t cause brands to try to do something different. 90% of the time they can deliver that same value. It’s just in a different way.

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Identify what your brand can do to improve consumer’s lives, deliver it online and invite your customers to join you. And remember to back up your words with actions. If you promise your customers value, make sure you deliver it without being confusing, slow or inefficient. Any trust gained will quickly be lost.

Focus on others to benefit your brand.