The Wisdom of Engagement

Foursquare and Yelp Logos

Two "Big Hitters" for Retail

I just came across a couple of quotes that rather succinctly state the issue anyone using Social Media for marketing needs to keep in mind with respect to engagement with their customers. I think it comes from some of the activity surrounding a virtual Enterprise 2.0 Conference event. I picked them up in my tweet stream. I wasn’t able to attend, but found them because I have a continuing search on the hashtag #e2conf, which keeps me in the loop.

These two quotes appear to be traceable to Sameer Patel, a man I admire for his business savvy and knowledge of social media engagement. I have been using the tag line “People are talking. Are you listening?” His quotes are a bit longer than my tag line, but I think they state the issue rather well:

Part of the problem is trying to “control the message”. The conversation will happen with or without you.

This is one of the things that I’m trying to get across to some of the small businesses (I’m beginning with restaurants) I’ve been working with. The other line is even more important:

Your brand perception is now in the hands of strangers. Isn’t it time you got to know them?

This is so important for small retail establishments to understand. With the advent of services like Foursquare and Yelp, the conversations about their businesses are already taking place. They need to, at the very least, claim their venues in each of these and get involved in the conversation. If a customer has a bad experience, don’t you want to know about it? Don’t you want to have the opportunity to make it right . . . publicly?

It’s true and it’s only going to get “worse”. People ARE talking. Shouldn’t you at least be listening? Better yet, why not engage with them. I’m convinced the process will strengthen your relationships with your customers and do wonders to make you more accessible and easy to do business with.

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About Rick Ladd

Born in 1947, I am an officially retired pensioner who remains intensely interested in, and fascinated by, Systems Thinking, Decision Intelligence, Knowledge Management, and Business in general. I am also conversant in such concepts as innovation and ideation, collaborative tools and strategies, crowd sourcing, and the use of social media to accomplish goals ranging from improving business processes to promoting small retail businesses. Recently I began a new career as an editor/proofreader and have done a bit of technical writing as well. There's lots more where that came from. Need some help? Perhaps another set of eyes? Contact me. The first one's free! ;0) View all posts by Rick Ladd

5 responses to “The Wisdom of Engagement

  • Manager Newz » Blog Archive » How to Use Employee Engagement to Boost Your Business

    [...] clients to the extreme, but also to increase that sense of belonging, of unmeasurable loyalty, or everlasting generosity of going the extra mile without expecting anything in return, of driving the whole concept of co-creation as part of that [...]

  • E L S U A ~ A KM Blog Thinking Outside The Inbox by Luis Suarez » How to Use Employee Engagement to Boost Your Business

    [...] clients to the extreme, but also to increase that sense of belonging, of unmeasurable loyalty, or everlasting generosity of going the extra mile without expecting anything in return, of driving the whole concept of co-creation as part of that [...]

  • Sameer

    Hey, thanks a lot Rick! So kind of you.

    Google Alerts seemed to have missed this one so sorry for the late response. Yes, people are talking. :)

    • Rick Ladd

      Thank you, Sameer. While I’m pleased to hear from you, it wasn’t the reason I wrote this – so you needn’t apologize. I was fairly ecstatic when I read the quotes I believe are attributable to you. I have been slowly reinventing myself and deciding which direction would be the most fruitful for me; not necessarily the most profitable monetarily.

      I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I can have a ball and help a lot of people out by concentrating my energies on small businesses and their social media needs. It amazes me how many don’t have a clue regarding the power that’s available to them – for free! – if they would but open themselves up to it. I believe we can thank the media for trivializing everything, but I think the trend toward greater adoption is clear. Onward and upward! Thanks again for stopping by. Much appreciated.

      • Sameer

        Congrats on settling on a direction. Very hard to do but extremely gratifying and a source of peace, once you make the call. Good luck and see you in the social webs :)

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