So I just booked our flights for Thanksgiving to visit my grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousins in Amesbury, MA. Anticipating this year’s long holiday weekend got me thinking about last year’s family get-together.
I remember my 95-year-old grandmother sitting in a chair last Thanksgiving and indignantly saying, “they won’t come to me!” referring to my 1 ½ and 4 ½ year-olds. “Why won’t they come to me?!” This seemed to me and other family members to be a ridiculous comment. They’re little kids! They are enticed by people who get down on the floor to play with them, suggest fun activities and are friendly.
Kids are attracted to people who engage with them, in their language and on their level. My well-meaning grandmother was guilty of the same offense offline as so many organizations and corporations are guilty of in the social media space: not understanding or engaging with her audience.
Though the social media tools and Web 2.0 technologies are still new and shiny, they are just another way to interact with others. It’s easy to assume that because the social media space has different platforms and tools that it also had different social rules.
Social media engagement is as natural as playing with your grandkids. Just as grownup relatives need to follow the cues of the children and engage with them, on their level, wherever they may be, so must organizations and corporations engage with their customers on the customers’ terms, wherever they may be.
So don’t say, “why won’t they come to me?!” Get down in the sandbox, on the living room floor, or wherever they may be, and start engaging with YOUR customers. Those are the interactions that they’ll remember… well into their 90s.