Following are a pair of case studies illustrating the points I've made in this chapter.
Solemates is a small, two-year-old company that produces items that women stick on the bottom of their high-heeled shoes to prevent them from sinking into the grass when they're at garden parties or outdoor weddings. Recently, the company took all fulfillment in-house, as opposed to outsourcing it. This allows Solemates to send little notes of congratulations in the box each time they know they're sending a wedding party order. From this simple act, they've seen their referral orders increase dramatically.
How can you continue to make these little differences, resulting in big increases in sales and revenue?
Here's a simple example of SoleMates' website navigation bar. Note the Facebook and Twitter links on the bottom. It's simple, easy, and—most importantly—inviting.
React when your audience reaches out—Whether it's a purchase, a question, or a comment. Check it out:
Figure 3.2 Adding social media links to your site is easy.
Every time an advertisement is purchased on the HARO mailing list (about three or four times a day), I get a quick email to my BlackBerry, set up with the person's name, email, and what he bought. It takes less than 10 seconds to see his name, click on his email, and compose my own email to him saying, "Hey, thanks for buying a HARO ad! Any questions or problems, let me know!"
What does this do? Well, automatically, it makes the customer happy about his decision to purchase from me. Almost immediately after he has spent $1,500, $3,000, or as much as $18,000 on HARO advertising, he gets an immediate (not automatic!) email from the CEO of the company. This is personal. This is REAL. This instantly puts him at ease.
Plus, now he has a personal (not a corporate) contact at HARO, and it doesn't get any higher-level than the CEO. Does he have a problem? He knows he can come to me, and even if I pass it off to a subordinate, the customer knows he'll be taken care of.
This is how you achieve loyal, almost rabid, fans willing to tell the world, without any prompting, how great you are. HARO is living proof. It works every day, sometimes multiple times a day.
And what does it take from me? Just a BlackBerry and the willingness to quickly send a 10-second email. I don't care how many customers you have or how busy you are.
Rule: WE ALL HAVE TEN SECONDS.
We can all send those kinds of emails. And we can do them personally, and we can make our new customers loyal immediately. That's the goal, and that's harnessing the power of social media.
What will it take for you?