Business woman in Sweden working weekends at Ideations

SATURDAY MORNINGS

I work on Saturdays.

Contrary to the sacredness of weekends in Sweden, it’s something I offer because I have clients who need it.

They’ve worked all week on their business and they’ve set aside the weekend to grow and learn and develop.

It’s also a time when everything is still and quiet. I am un-rushed, un-hurried, and un-stressed.

Having such peace allows me to offer such flexibility to the wonderful women I work with.

What about you? How do Saturdays look for you? Are you working or not?

Customer Delight with social media interaction from Ideations

Customer Delight: How A Swedish Design Company Got it Right

If your business is implementing digital marketing strategies, chances are, you’ve already tapped into the power of social media to create connections with your customers.

Some companies are naturals when it comes to online engagement, but as an American living in Sweden, one thing I have noticed is that very few Nordic businesses understand customer reciprocity let alone engage easily with their customers online.

Not so for jewelry and design company, Syster P.

Case in point? Me.

HOW IT STARTED

I was scrolling through Instagram one day and found myself staring at this:

NOTE: Because I advocate businesses leaving authentic comments on their social media platforms when interacting with their customers, I decided to go with my first response to this image, too.

 

My Response: “Whoa!”

 

Now, I realize that not every business would know exactly how to respond to a comment like this, and truthfully, if I were to audit your Instagram stream to see where you could increase user engagement, I would actually recommend just letting this comment rest along with other user comments expressing similar sentiments.

However, I was so affected by the image, that I found myself morphing into my 13-year-old self (the one who used to kiss her Nick Lowe poster every night before bed, during my Duran Duran phase — #DontAsk), and following up with this comment.

 

My Follow Up Comment: “Any chance you’d sell one of these posters?” 😉 #VikingLove

 

 

THE MAGIC BEGINS

While wondering where I’d put a poster if they even had one, I saw this response from SysterP come in.

 

Syster P’s Response: “Send us your address info@systerp.se and we will at least send you the post card.” 😉

 

HOW I FELT

Pure, toe-curling, smile-producing get up and do the happy dance, delight coursed through me.

WHY IT WORKED

“Despite all the banner ads, mobile-optimized emails and programmatic advertising, talking to customers over social media and via comments is one of the best tactics to get fans excited …” Clint Demeritt

In the case of my interaction with Syster P, “excited” was exactly how I was feeling. I quickly sent an email and then told myself it was time to get over my crush and get back to work.

A few days later, I found a notification from the post office that I had a package to pick up. As I walked the two blocks from the post office to my apartment, I wondered what could be inside.

Seeing the return address indicating it was from SysterP, I wondered why they had used a box to send a postcard as they had promised.

Opening it, I couldn’t believe what I saw.

Inside the box was a framed picture of the Viking who had been the cause of my post-adolescent crush as well as a catalog and a hand-written note!

I absolutely could not wrap my brain around what I was seeing nor could I equate it with any Swedish customer experience I had ever had.

ENTER RECIPROCITY

What SysterP had done was to tap into what is known as “reciprocity”.

Kissmetrics describes in detail about reciprocity and other aspects of customer delight here …

but the bottom line when it comes to utilizing reciprocity is what Gregory Ciotti, mentions, “… small surprises that feel like they were ‘just for you’ can spawn some incredibly strong goodwill from the receiver.”

In the case of SysterP, the goodwill they triggered caused me to create a series of social media shares that created increased brand awareness and a lasting sense of brand loyalty that I don’t see leaving anytime soon.

In fact, when I’m in a store and I see a Syster P display, I take a moment to share this story with the person behind the counter.

People are amazed this was my experience with a Swedish business and they, too, start to realize there are new ways to create connections with customers that they can easily duplicate.

The Take Away

 

When customers leave comments on your social media platforms it’s a signal they’re open to hearing from you.

Think of it as opening up a two-way communication channel.

This is a prime opportunity to create connections that can have significant payoffs for your business.

 

By implementing social reciprocity strategies you can create relatively simple and cost-effective ways to increase customer loyalty and create customer relationships online.

Stop reading newsletters and digital marketing strategies to build your mailing list

Stop & Think Before You Create a Newsletter

Newsletters. Who really reads them, anyway, right?

And, why, as business owners, do we keep telling people to “build their list!” by having newsletters when we know people rarely read them?

The answer is because we’re scared.

We’re afraid if we don’t capture someone’s email, we won’t be able to SELL them something once we “win their trust”.

*shaking head and trying not to throw up*

I don’t know about you, but I do sign up for and read newsletters. There’s always a reason but they pretty much fall into three categories. Are you ready to read more?

Three Reasons I Subscribe to Newsletters.

1) Competitive Analysis: I want to see what people who are in my field are doing with their newsletters.

2) Continuing Education: I want to stay up to date on research and information from people who work both in and outside of my industry.

3) Prospecting: I want to see how potential clients are using newsletters/mailing lists and if there are ways I can help them do it better.

Newsletters aren’t evil.

If you’re a business owner, though, and you’ve decided to have a newsletter, may I gently recommend that you examine carefully your reason behind it?

If it’s to build your list, that’s not always the bad thing I alluded it to be.

For specific types of businesses, a newsletter can be a great way to connect with your supporters, grow your community, and share your services with more people.

Women shop on cell phones to find social media and content marketing ideas

To be clear, wanting to sell to people isn’t an evil thing.

The whole reason you’re in business is that you have something to provide that others – hopefully – need and want to buy.

Where I get slightly sick about the whole “build your list” thing is that it feels a bit backward, motive-wise. It puts our need as business owners ahead of the needs of our customers and clients.

I know the reason for this.

Telling people that they can’t count on social media platforms to always be around (so true!) and that if “Instagram were to disappear tomorrow, so would all your contact with your followers”, is very, very valid reason to have a newsletter and/or build your mailing list.

Except… I want us to start looking at how we create our connections online and how we use things like newsletters a bit differently.

Are we pushing sign-ups because we fear our connections aren’t strong enough?

Do we send out weekly newsletters because we think if we’re not constantly being seen in people’s inboxes they’ll forget about us and give their business to someone else?

Have we told ourselves the lie that if we’re not constantly pumping out content we’ll lose people’s attention?

I want us to rise above.

I want us to get smart and crazy strategic.

I want us to realize that every single piece of content we produce, every single part of our interactions with others, is not a one size fits all thing. We have to make it work for the people we seek to serve.

Woman reading content in library for customer connection and social media information

One way to do it that works.

One way to do it is to look at the wildly successful Joanna Gaines and the Magnolia brand. Do you know of her/it?

She doesn’t post every single day. She doesn’t send out weekly newsletters. She isn’t constantly asking people to sign up or pushing her products.

Instead, when she has something of quality to share, she does.

She OFFERS instead of SELLS and the results are that people respond.

Every. Single. Time.

women with mobile phones reading custom content that converts sales

Now, you might say, “but Leanne, I don’t have the audience she has and I don’t have the team or the budget to create the type of content that she does. How can MY posts get seen when I’m competing against an algorithm that seems to bury me in people’s feed?”

Hang tight. I’m going to be testing some things in the coming days/weeks and sharing them with you.

If you want to watch how I do this in real-time, follow me on Instagram. It’s my current “testing ground”.

In the meantime, where does this post hit you the hardest? Are you thinking I’m insane and full of it or are you nodding your head in agreement? Let me know either by commenting or by shooting me an email. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

Watch Those Hands!

So here’s a tricky one. See the fingers this woman is holding up? As an American, this is the nonverbal way to say, “peace”.

In England, it’s the “V for Victory” if the palm is facing outward but something considered very rude if the hand is turned the other way.

Which, if you’re creating content for a global audience (something you should be doing) means when you use stock photos you need to be especially careful to not send the wrong signal.

In fact, quickly Googling “hand signs around the world”, I found that there are so many ways you can get yourself into trouble that you need to seriously be careful when you select your stock photos!

Don’t believe me?

Read this article and then tell me what this photo means to people from Latin America.

Catching Their Eye

Where do you stand when it comes to standing out?

I’ve got to admit, personally, I’m the least likely woman I know to need or want the spotlight and yet … what I realize when I look at this photo is the same thing I realize when I look around my home.

Beauty, personalized and meaningful, stands out and grabs my attention every single time. If you come to my place, you’ll find things you might not see elsewhere that I’ve surrounded myself with. Things that have meaning and memory – even if not “designer”. That, to me, is the ultimate expression of beauty.

Translating that back to this picture, you may see a woman holding a plant. If that’s all you see and it does nothing for you, no harm, no foul.

But, if, like me, the first thing you saw was an “offering” or the giving of a gift, then maybe you also looked even closer and saw this wasn’t your ordinary plant and these weren’t your ordinary hands.

If so, then the standout part for you might be, like me, that you approach the viewing of things (and people) differently.

Which is where I’d encourage you to focus when you think about your business, your customers and how your content, social and digital marketing efforts are having the impact you want and shining a spotlight on what you’re offering to others.