I stumbled on a statistic this morning that absolutely blew my mind. Maybe I hadn’t had enough coffee yet, but I literally went bug-eyed. “People on Facebook share approximately 1 million links every 20 minutes.”
Enthusiastically, I repeated this out loud to my 16-year old daughter who looked at me like I had two heads and almost snickered, “Uh, yeah Mom, what about it?” “Don’t you think that’s amazing?” I asked, quite perplexed. “No, actually that seems a little low to me,” she declared. Guess I had better put my mom dunce hat back on and go back to my Neanderthal world. I returned to my article, sipping a cup of coffee over breakfast while my daughter resumed her morning catch-up on overnight events, a combination of world news sites and a scroll through her Twitter feed. I blurt out another one: “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes the amount of content we share will double every year.”
I could only conclude by her terse response that she must have already read this same article. “That’s logical. All you have to do is look at KONY 2012 to see that.” “Good point,” I replied, pouring another cup of coffee in an effort to console myself. “People don’t seek information; information seeks people,” says Curtis Houghland in “How to Market to Consumers with Social-Media ADD“. What an amazing turn of events. Gone are the days of library card file cabinets. Now we have instant access to information – the good, the bad and the ugly. Not only can we find information immediately, we can share it immediately, even the seemingly meaningless, trivial nonsense. What’s your status? “Sitting in the Barnes & Noble, listening to Alanis Morissette, drinking coffee, feeling guilty that my two St. Bernards are back at home waiting for their walk.” Do you care? Probably not, but what if I had reported this instead: “HORRIBLE experience with XYZ Electronics today! Connected with live chat support about my son’s gaming headphones, his birthday present. The repair attempt didn’t work – they still only work in one ear – ugh! But here’s the best part: the one-year warranty expired during the repair attempt. They told me further repair work isn’t covered! So much for the claim about excellent customer service. Don’t buy ANYTHING from XYZ Electronics!” You might not be in the market for headphones or other products that XYZ Electronics offers for sale, but someone else following my feed, in my circle or reading my wall might be, either now or in the near future. Sharing isn’t going anywhere! Furthermore, the millennials are much more inclined to share information, both the positive and the negative. They’ll share their excellent customer experience with one company right along with a rant about the horrible treatment they received from a customer service agent at another. What is being shared about your company or your brand? Testimonials about your excellent customer service? Or something else? Or lots of other things? Do you track what is being shared? Do you even know? We once worked with a company whose senior executives assured us they didn’t need to worry too much about the relatively small number of dissatisfied customers. Really? Such an approach is short-sighted. Burying your head in the sand when it comes to dissatisfied customers, however many there are, and focusing exclusively on your satisfied customers and the excellent customer service you provide is a risky proposition. Ignoring the negatives may have worked in the days of the library card file, but not now. Link shares on Facebook are increasing at a non-linear rate, and there is no going back. It’s 2 million in 20 minutes, 4 million in 20 minutes, 8 million in 20 minutes and so on … After all, people no longer need to seek out and find information. Information seeks and finds them.
Do you know what your customers are saying about you? And are you ready to engage them in the moment with excellent customer service? Excellent customer service via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and the list goes on. How many million shares are you missing? Please share with us how you are engaging your customers. We’d love to hear about it.