Three weeks ago, my wife and I welcomed our first child, Elsa, to the world. She joined us on 11/11/11 and since that moment, she has obviously had a profound impact on my life. During these first few weeks, I’ve watched her tirelessly in an effort to understand her needs and wants. While she surveys her surroundings trying to make sense of the world around her, I hover anxiously wondering what every sound, grimace or jerk might mean. Does that cry mean she’s in pain or is it just gas… or both?
It doesn’t take long to realize that infants really only need a few things:
3) To be changed
4) Comfortable temperature
5) Gas relief
It’s not overly complicated, but if you don’t respond, the impending wails will certainly make life uncomfortable for everyone involved. I could certainly over complicate things and try to give her toys, dance around like Elmo, keep moving her around, etc. but what’s the point. She’s actually very clear about what she wants.
These same principles hold true for social media. Your customers probably only need/want a few things from you, but because you have so many different objectives, you try to create a social presence that meets the needs of your business before the needs of your customer. It doesn’t take long before your social strategy is slightly schizophrenic and those customers you are trying to reach tune you out. Additionally, if you don’t pick up on those subtle signals your customers are sending you, you could be trying to force a diaper change when really all they wanted was a little gas relief.
How you deliver that relief can change and you can have a variety of different methods that work best for your different customers, but the end game should be the same. Whether you prop them over your shoulder or sit them in your lap, the end game should be to make them happy, comfortable and willing to trust you again.
Once you’ve established your routine, the occasional hysterical fits that fall outside the norm are easier to spot. You may not be able to quiet the wailing, but sometimes it’s best to let them just cry it out. When all else fails, you can always try dancing around like Elmo.