January 24, 2011

Are You Listening to Your Audience?

BY John Paul Narowski IN Sales and Marketing One Comment

Are You Listening To Your AudienceHey you, are you listening? Are you paying attention to your online audience as if they were standing right in front of you? I hope that you are. Understanding their needs and wants online is just as important as them calling your business over the phone to have a question answered, or walking in the front door of your corporate office wanting to learn more about you. Knowing your customers and listening to them is one of the most important ways to grow your business.

Many people say that social media is just hype and that it will go away soon. Well I’ve got news for you; it isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. Social media is another way for your customer, or potential client to reach out to you, ask you more questions, and they are getting to know you, just as you are getting to know them.

Below is a great way to listen and engage your audience, so that you know what is  most important to them and  you can answer the questions that are on their mind, or better yet, talk to them about what they want to hear, not just what you want to say.

Online Surveys

Online surveys are a great way to listen to your audience so that you can engage them in meaningful conversation, on their terms.

Whether you ask 1 poll question a day or a 5 minute survey once a month, either way is fine as long as it is created for their benefit and not yours as a sales tactic.

For your longer surveys there are sites out there that can help you create the perfect survey tailored to your audience, one of the best ones that I have found out there is Survey Monkey. They allow you to create 10 questions for free and you are able to create the survey in multiple styles, colors and layouts,

Even the little things that you can do to create your survey are important factors to keep in mind. Who is your audience? What is their daily business? Do they have time to answer a survey where they have to write their own answers or is it a better use of time for them to be able to click on a multiple choice answer? These are all very important things to think about, and is just another way that you are paying attention to them!

If you are asking a poll of the day question on Twitter make sure that they can answer it in 140 characters, and if you are asking the question on Facebook make sure that the question is formatted in a way that they can offer you a quick answer.

Why Is Knowing Your Audience Important

I know what most of you are thinking at this exact moment, after reading the title above, common sense, right? I will agree with you because that is the first thing that comes to my mind, unfortunately, many people venturing out into the online world don’t understand that this is just as important as if your customer was standing face to face with you.

How do you know what your audience wants to learn about unless you ask. This isn’t just another quick way or platform to use to sell your product, program or service, but it is a way that you can educate them on the functions, processes, and other meaningful information if in fact that is what they want to hear.

A quick example of this; We at KarmaCRM have a product that was created with many small businesses in mind, but we also understand small businesses, why, because we are one, so we have a lot more useful information to share with our audience besides our product. Our survey’s might have questions in regards to learning about ethical ways to use Twitter or how to create a engaging Facebook Fan Page or how to provide stellar customer service, anything that may help small business owners on their path to success.

Don’t Miss The Mark

Remember when it comes to learning about your audience you must keep your eyes and ears open so that you don’t miss whats most important to the people that are reaching out to you. By missing this mark you could lose the attention of many of your followers and fans, which could tarnish your brand both online and off.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

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