4 Tips for Using Social Media to Connect with Customers

Thomson Reuters

People love being treated like a number, right? Or when brands talk at them instead of listening to their needs and engaging in a dialogue? And people surely love it when they feel like a robot is talking to them — and sending the same message, over and over and over and over and over until it floods their inbox.

(Just kidding.)

Business-to-business (B2B) marketing and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing are common…but what about human to human (H2H)? According to Pure Matter CEO Bryan Kramer, “There is no more B2B or B2C: There is only human to human (H2H).”

Quickfinder: A human experience

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting, based in Dallas, has enjoyed its best-performing social media campaign to date for its Quickfinder product with this H2H concept in mind. With marketing led by VP of Marketing Melissa Rothchild, Quickfinder provides tax professionals with accurate, quick-read answers to tax questions with a unique sense of humor. Rothchild and her team are applying that same quirky tone and personal approach to a creative social media campaign, engaging the audience with tongue-in-cheek ads based on answers to the question: “What’s the craziest tax question you’ve been asked this tax season?” and connecting responses with the hashtag #quirkytaxquestion.

Referencing customer responses from Facebook, the marketing team crafted innovative graphic ads depicting taxpayers in unique situations like a businessperson falling asleep on his seatmate’s shoulder on an airplane and asking, “If I sleep through my flight, can I still count it as a commuting expense?”

This has been a great opportunity to engage with clients in a less formal way. These responses provided the inspiration light-hearted ads — helping create marketing that accurately reflects their experiences while delivering a laugh.

4 Social Media Best Practices

The successful Quickfinder campaign is an innovative reflection of elements to incorporate in organizations’ social campaigns. Before embarking on a social media campaign, there are 4 concepts to bear in mind:

  1. Ask yourself: Will my audience care? Knowing if your customer will find your posts interesting is key. In our particular industry, appealing content is timely as well.
  2. Know your platform: “Quirky tax question” was a great message for the more informal medium of Facebook, whereas LinkedIn is generally more professional. Also be aware that your social media followers may be a diverse group. Try targeting your content more effectively on broad social channels by using geotargeting and other methods.
  3. Make it easy and fun to engage: Obviously one of the key indicators of success on social media is engagement — likes, comments, and shares. To achieve this goal, it shouldn’t be taxing (pun intended) to join the conversation. Submitting quirky tax questions was a quick, light-hearted conversation starter to unite social media users.
  4. Keep it real: It’s okay to be informal, depending on the channel. The Quickfinder campaign reflected the quirky tone of its users this way. The point is, again, to speak to each customer like a person rather than a faceless entity at the other end of a marketing message. Social media should be personal. In today’s fast-paced society, simple (and frankly, human) language trumps cumbersome technical language — and fosters a sense of trust.

If you can find a way to utilize customer feedback as Quickfinder has, all the better. Customers may feel helpful contributors to the conversation and sense that you care.

Connection is vital to the human experience. When social media is utilized effectively, it’s a tool for engaging in a dialogue with your customers and ultimately fostering trust.

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