Flip Your Focus: Serve Customers Through Social Media

Recently I was asked “Can you explain the professional benefits for a corporate employee engaging in social media?”

My response surprised me, and I thought you might find it interesting as well…


Engaging in social media professionally does benefit you directly, but as I think through my experience, I find it becomes especially rewarding when you flip the focus from how it benefits you to how it benefits our customers.

Why flip focus?

Because our customers deserve our very best, and if we are involved in social media for  our own benefit, then our conversations, content, and perspective will always have an ulterior motive. We may make more sales or become more well-known in the industry in the short term, but the relationship with our customers will remain shallow with no lasting impact nor loyalty.

The social web is filled with “Look at me!” blogs and sites and tweets. It’s quite self-serving and it can take our users some time to tease out useful and unbiased information that they can use. However, if we start with “How can I serve you?” then their interest rises at the potential of rich, unbiased, relevant content.

When we focus on serving our customers through social media, their benefits include:

Customer Benefits:

  • Customers will gain better insight from your expertise in how to do their job better
  • Customers will trust that the conversation, tip, recommendation has their best interest in mind
  • Customer loyalty will increase as they realize they have real human relationships with experts that create our products/services.
  • Customers will share your expertise with their peers
  • Customers will feel relevant because you asked them to give honest feedback about your product/service

Notice that while our customers benefit, at the same time you benefit in even greater ways:

Your Benefits:

  • Trusted Industry Expert: You will become known in the industry as an expert, but even more importantly, a trusted expert
  • Real-World Impact: You will have real customer quotes to show your impact you’ve had over the year
  • Greater Purpose:  Because you help real humans in their work with your expertise, you will feel a greater purpose in your work. Instead of feeling like a small cog in a large machine, to a group of customers you are the expert in your area that helps them succeed
  • Improved Product: You will get unbiased feedback about your product/service that you can fold into your next release, thereby improving it for all customers

Like most things in your professional life, the more you put into your social media presence the more you get out of it. And at least in my experience, the more you focus on how to help others succeed through social media, the more personal reward you end up with.

Question: How do you serve customers through social media?

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