Yes, your social media strategy is important. So are your direct marketing, advertising and web marketing strategies.
But, for most of the companies represented by readers of this article, the importance of these marketing efforts is dwarfed by the importance of human conversations between people in your company and its customers.
To understand this, think of your own experience. Consider a company that you love doing business with; it may be a local business or national company. What communications with that company most powerfully influence your opinions of them? I’ll bet that interactions with living, breathing human beings who work for that company have influenced you more than their website, advertising or social media posts. (Of course, large web companies like Amazon.com may be exceptions. But these types of companies make up a minority of the number of businesses you make purchases from.)
Now, think about your own company. What communications are most likely to persuade your customers, or make them more loyal? Imagine a customer engaged in a rich, two-way dialogue with someone from your company, maybe a salesperson, someone from customer service, or any other job role from your company that has direct customer contact. Imagine that the customer feels listened to, is very engaged in the conversation, and that the customer is actually enjoying the conversation. Imagine that the customer feels closer to your company after the conversation.
Imagine that this is a conversation that matters to your customer.
The most powerful marketing or sales medium your company can employ is the conversation that matters. When customers are engaged in conversations that matter to them, they become more loyal; they are more likely to be persuaded, and they are also more likely to fall in love with your company.