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The Copywriter – February 2010

The power of empathy in developing profitable customer relationships

What does it take to build a relationship with your customers these days? In a word – empathy. And increased empathy with customers via social networking sites seems to be a powerful content-driven marketing tool.

Empathy only comes from a deep understanding and alignment with your customers’ concerns, needs and wants. As an example, if you really want to know how to position your service or develop your products, always find out what upsets your target audience first. It’s the best guide to what they really want from you. Social media is helping businesses to gauge and raise empathy levels with their customers.

With the meteoric rise of social media since blogging first exploded on the internet as a marketing tool in 2003, conversations are carrying on freely about your brand or your products – and you have no control.

Getting alongside your customers and engaging with them, instead of preaching to them, is the new idiom. The conversation era is upon us. You need to be having conversations with your customers – in blogs, on social networking sites, and in forums.

So what’s in this new brand conversation? Basically, useful content; give people what they want – information that will help them enjoy your products or services more. Give them some true stories about people using your products to do exciting stuff – that’s where the passion for your brand will showcase powerfully.

Whatever you do, don’t try and sell to them with some subtle corporate messaging on social sites – today’s savvy punters know better and they’ll reject you.

Even worse if something you say isn’t true watch out because on some blog, forum or Twitter page the fact that it’s not true could well be coming up higher on Google rankings than your own corporate website. You have been warned.

Over the last few months we have been helping Welsh law firm, Capital Law, embrace the world of social media with a fortnightly blog. By leading discussion and offering advice on key issues within the industry, the company are communicating with their clients on a very relevant level, encouraging conversations about topics within the industry, rather than simply selling their services. You can read their blog here www.capitallaw.co.uk/site/publicationsandnews/blog.

We believe that social media strategies can be applied to any business in any industry to increase empathy – it’s about finding the strategy that fits for you.

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