Think about every interaction you had with people today. How much of it was face-to-face, and how much of it was digital – via social media, email, text, etc.? If the majority was digital, you’re not alone.
I recently graduated from the 12-week long Dale Carnegie course, “Effective Communication and Human Relations”. My primary goal was to become a more confident public speaker (key word “public”). In addition to improved communication skills, I gained some confidence and learned how to be a better coach.
As I review the principles, though, I realize most of my communication happens digitally and wonder if these principles, developed over 100 years ago, are as relevant and effective in today’s digital world as they are in the workplace? I think so!
Here are 4 Dale Carnegie principles social marketers can use to effectively communicate with their consumers:
1. Show genuine interest
Building relationships is key in today’s digital world. Social marketers must show genuine interest in their consumers by asking questions. We all know the beauty of social media marketing is that it’s a two-way street. Marketers actually get to have conversations with their consumers. Don’t ask questions just to ask questions though – be sure to ask meaningful questions and engage back. You’ll be surprised at what you find out.
2. Be a good listener
Social media has made it easy for marketers to understand what their consumers want. Marketers can gain great insights if they simply pay attention and listen to the social conversation. The use of hashtags has made it even easier. Peruse the social space and see what people are talking about, how are they feeling, are there any trends happening that you can take advantage of? This might be the only time stalking might be acceptable…so take advantage of it.
3. Show respect for the other person’s opinion
Every once in a while marketers will experience an opinionated consumer. For some, the first instinct is to delete the comment or post. This is bad social media etiquette. Leave the comment and if it warrants, respond politely. Sometimes these types of comments are the best – they provide honest feedback that allow us to act on an opportunity.
4. Make them feel important
You’ve grown your social following….so what? These people are following you because they like your brand, but if you don’t make them feel important then they are just a number. There are numerous ways you can make your fans feel important via social. Give them a coupon or discount just for being a fan. Feature their content on your channels, retweet them, reply to them, and the list goes on. Whatever you choose to do, I promise you’ll be making their day.
These principles aren’t anything ingenious, but a good reminder of simple ways to effectively connect with your consumers via social media. If you’re familiar with Dale Carnegie’s principles, which ones do you use when you communicate digitally?
For those of you who don’t know anything about Dale Carnegie, here’s a brief overview. Dale Carnegie was an American writer and lecturer. He is the author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and developer of the highly successful and proven corporate training course mentioned above. The course started in 1912, is represented in more than 80 countries and has had over 8 million graduates.