Socialize! Spreading Good Will Through Social Media
This guest blog post is by Ben Bromberg, Client Services Representative here at Patron Technology.
It’s not something I’m always proud to say, but I’m on Facebook a lot. And if you’re like me, you have to manage your intake. If I followed every business and brand that I like, my Facebook account would be flooded, and I’d miss my cousin’s engagement news between Dorito’s promotions.
So, for your arts patrons to choose to add your organization’s news and updates alongside those of their friends and family demonstrates a certain level of loyalty. Thus, you should consider your followers a particularly valuable group, and you should make them feel that way.
How do you do that? Well, what makes social media unique from other marketing outlets is in the opportunity it has to start a conversation. If you personalize your responses and look for opportunities to wow your patrons, you will give them a reason to sing your praises.
To illustrate this, here’s a story of a particularly incredible social media interaction between blogger Peter Shankman and Morton’s Steakhouse. The full story is worth reading, but here’s the summary: a frequent diner at Morton’s Steakhouse, Shankman jokingly tweets, as he’s boarding a plane from Tampa to Newark, that he’d like Morton’s to be waiting for him at the airport with a porterhouse when he lands. The request is clearly tongue-in-cheek, but when he lands in Newark and meets his driver in the baggage claim area there is a tuxedoed Morton’s employee with a steak dinner in a to-go bag waiting with him.
Shankman is quick to share the story with his blog followers, who are amazed enough to share it with their friends, who continue to pass it along. To this day, I define the character of Morton’s by this story, a tale that quickly communicates, this is what this company is all about.
The secret weapon in this story is CRM. As Shankman mentions in his blog post, Morton’s has a great social media team and makes good use of a CRM system, so they knew when they saw his tweet that he was not only a loyal, valued customer, but an influential blogger. For Shankman, this was a “wow!” moment and for Morton’s it was a social media coup.
But it doesn’t take bringing a steak to an airport for your organization to wow patrons. All it takes is a little bit of personalized attention when they aren’t expecting it. You don’t need a team of social media experts to pull this off; it only takes the occasional gesture.
For instance, if a patron uses Facebook or Twitter to ask when tickets go on sale, don’t just send them a date. Look them up! Maybe you’ll notice that for the past few shows, the patron always sat in the same section. So, instead of replying, “Tomorrow at 10,” you can respond with, “Tickets are on sale tomorrow at 10, Tom. But we’ve already reserved your favorite seat in Row A!”
No matter how big or how small, going the extra mile to personalize your customer service experience will always elicit a “Wow” response. Give just a small handful of patrons who are active on social media an experience like this and I’ll bet they start speaking pretty highly of you.
Facebook and Twitter aren’t just web pages; they’re tools for influencing your patrons to spread the word about your organization. So use them! Treat your fans right and you’ll get more fans — good business is good business. Even in the era of social media, this same old adage proves true.