Quenching Social Media Thirst


Creating a breathable space for customers through online social media is not much different from running a restaurant. The success of a restaurant doesn’t have too many key ingredients: good food, pleasant ambiance, engaging and attentive service. The distinctive way that you combine and serve those ingredients determines how often patrons return and how far and wide word-of-mouth spreads. Above all: keeping customers’ glasses full, steadfastly quenching their thirst, is what wins the day in the life of a restaurant.

However you use online social media, whether to make money or friends or to enhance knowledge or awareness or to just have fun, you have customers: your blog subscribers, your Twitter followers, your email contacts, your bookmark sharing partners, your forum participants.

In particular, if you’re using social media with a business purpose, then you not only need to provide bread and butter, and good food with good service, you also need to quench your customers’ thirst.

What does that mean, customer thirst? It’s your flow of content. It’s your responsiveness to fill unmet needs before your customers realize that they have one. It’s your presence. It’s the little things you do that make the online experience, the social medium, worthy of return customers and infectious word-of-mouth.


I don’t always practice what I preach but here are some little thirst-quenchers, or ways to quench your customers’ thirst, that I’d make a priority:

  1. In blogging: knowing when to refill your subscribers’ reader (post frequency)
  2. Monitoring what’s being said about you (Google Alerts, TweetBeeps, professional reputation services)
  3. Putting your interactors front-and-center when solving their problems
  4. Asking “what can I do for you?” No need to be that annoying and obtrusive waiter or waitress. (Subtlety works.)
  5. Offering usable tools that allow instant connection (Twitter, text-messaging, your cell (old school still works!))

The list is off-the-cuff. Make your own: identify the part of your service that involves water or wine or beer. What drinks do you serve and what can you do to keep filling them?

It’s often said that people are hungry for information. You might have a blog that serves remarkable food that more than feeds your readers’ hunger. But if they’re thirsty, it doesn’t matter how bitchin’ the food tastes. Thirst is a primal urge. If you don’t fill those glasses, people will find other places to quench their thirst. And fast.

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Seth’s Advice on How to Enjoy Every Bite of Your Apple

All of us are marketers. That’s what you need to keep in mind when expecting customer service that gets results. This applies as much to Apple products as it does to medicine, critical care nursing or disaster relief.

If you own a Mac (or any other modern contraption subject to entropy), Seth Godin has sixteen very useful tips in Working with Apple Tech Support.

His list may be specific to Apple, but I think it’s got practical advice that shows us how to take responsibility for customer service. Customer service is about more than consumer satisfaction. It’s about bringing forth the best in us all. Customer service is also a mutual experience. Pay attention to step #14 if the list still doesn’t work for you.

Go to Seth’s blog, blookmark his post, and do yourself a big favor: buy The Dip. It just might save your life or help you get through the next disaster in your life, big or small.