How to get business customers to talk about you socially

My customers love my product – they rave about it to me. But we can’t them to say anything at all online. The problem is it’s not an exciting niche. Think disk defragmenting or something similar.

We’ve tried enticing them with gifts, pizza delivery, asking them to tweet, even free support and maintenance for a year (which could be worth $1000). Part of the problem is they feel they need to check with legal (and many probably need to), and legal always shoots that sort of stuff down. Part of the problem is they don’t care if they save their company money - doesn’t help them.

Does anyone have any suggestions on nudging adoring customers to actually say something about us?

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I think the enticements may be backfiring, turning what should be cheerleading into an exchange. If customers have said nice things to you via email or whatever, can you at least get permission to use their praise on your site?

Is there a forum where your sort of software is discussed? You could build a presence there, answering questions and the like, which might get you smaller customers who feel freer praising the merits of your software.

I’m not sure if this applies, but there was an interesting discussion on building LinkedIn groups, which might be a way to get some social visibility: BWK 33

We do get permission to quote them probably 90+% of the time and they’re quoted on the website.

We tried the “building a presence” thing, but that takes a LONG time. I probably spent 20 minutes a day, every day, for 6 months, and got not a single person mentioning us. A lot of product improvement could have been done in that time :frowning:

I guess people like talking about sports, what they had for lunch, but not so much their work tools…

I’ve got a decent sized customer base (10,000+) and have spent the last three years working to get them mentioning us “socially”. This contact primarily happens at annual support renewal time. I offer free annual support in return for social mentions or reviews posted to online review sites. I also ask for permission to post testimonials to our customer reviews page. In the time I’ve been working on it I’ve had very few social mentions (less than 50), and just a few online reviews posted. It’s a SLOW process. However, the posting of testimonials to our website is much better, I post several a month and very few people ever say no when I ask.

As soon as you pay someone for something, it changes the whole dynamic. An example. I sometime pick up litter in my local park. If someone offered me £5/hour to do it, I would tell them to %^^$ off. But I will do it for free. Read Ariely’s excellent ‘predictably irrational’ to find out why.

BTW I don’t even really try to get my customers talking about PerfectTablePlan on social media. Why would anyone want to talk to their friends and family about table planning? Unless they are also planning an event, in which case they almost certainly don’t want me trying to get in on the conversation.

Why would anyone want to talk to their friends and family about table planning? Unless they are also planning an event, in which case they almost certainly don’t want me trying to get in on the conversation.

I don’t get into the conversation (except to perhaps “like” a post). And I suspect when someone is talking about PTP you don’t want to either. Users talking about your product in happy terms without you getting involved is the entire point of building a social presence isn’t it?

Hmm, perhaps try to appeal to the need for status? Make a free certification course for your product, have a straightforward test to get certified, and send out a really nice framed certificate/high class branded object/collared shirt when someone passes? Some percentage will tweet/instagram about it, everyone will put it on their resume.

I think this is spot on. The core question is if your users are part of a largish community who like to share ideas. I can imagine professional function planners might consider talking about your software, but the community is probably fairly small. It helps if the users are also long term, I can imagine many of your users use the product for a period of a few months and they probably don’t use it again for years, which is not a slight on the software but reality that most people don’t plan big events all the time.

Also many people are in professions that they are probably less passionate about, I can’t imagine the person working at the supermarket raving about the software they use.

With my software I have had some success getting them to talk about it ( but it is a fairly large community. I also said to a couple of the clients I knew well that it couldn’t hurt to mention it occasionally.