Listen to Your Super-Consumers and Engage the Engaged to Grow Sales

Social media marketing is, among many other things, about dialogues with people. At first they are connections, some can be or become fans, followers and ‘friends’. And sometimes they become relationships. Relationships matter much more than connections in business.

A relationship occurs between two people. In a relationship people talk and listen. Many marketers forget that behind all their social media connections, there are real people. And that these connections should evolve into relationships if both parties seem to connect. Certainly from a marketing perspective, you don’t need relationships with everyone: with the people that matter to you and the people that show you that you matter to them.The most engaged followers and fans, just like you listen especially to your most engaged customers. Talk to them. But most of all listen to them, learn from them, they’ll tell you what they need from you and your business. If you listen well. If you monitor what they say to and about you, directly and indirectly. You don’t have to start relationships with every connection, but you should listen to as many people as possible.

However, how do you decide who to start a relationship with? In a normal, daily and interpersonal context, the answer is easy. In business, it’as about mutual relevance and value. And in business you will often listen more to your most valuable followers, fans and customers. From a business viewpoint, this makes sense. A while ago Eddie Yoon, a Principal with The Cambridge Group, posted an interesting article on the Harvard Business blog.

Listen to and talk with your most engaged customers and followers

Yoon wrote that “in any product category, roughly 10% of the consumers account for more than 50% of the profits”. His company calls them the ‘super-consumers’. The consumers that clearly know what they need and want, buy a lot of what they need and don’t mind paying more to get it.

Furthermore, these ‘super-consumers’ are “passionate and engaged, sometimes even a little obsessive” as Yoon describes them. I guess you also have ‘super-consumers’ and are very glad to have them. I also guess that you do everything you can to serve these ‘super-consumers’ who might be your best brand advocates.

I quote Yoon: “Many managers…figure that their super-consumers are already sated, so there’s no point in probing them further”.  And that, according to Yoon, is a mistake (and it indeed is!).

Yoon says The Cambridge Group found that companies that listen to their super-consumers and use their insights to refine their message ultimately grow sales and margins across all segments”.

These companies try to understand what super-consumers like and then try to offer it to them. So they listen to these super-consumers and respond to them.

And this seems to pay off. One brand grew over 40% in three years. You of course already know that listening to your customers is crucial but Yoon’s message is clear: especially tap the wisdom of your super-consumers and listen (and respond) to them (too). It’s not about Pareto’s rule but it’s about the power of the engaged and really good customers, a.k.a. loyal customers and brand fans.

Adapted from the original post here.