It’s true. They don’t. What they do care about is getting the information they want, when they want, how they want. Social media is just a tool. Customers might want you to tweet/post good deals and relevant information (menus, specials, contests, etc.), but may have no desire to start a dialogue just because. They don’t really want your attempts at ‘connecting’ to ‘clutter up’ their stream/feed.
Or do they? Maybe they like seeing that there’s a real person behind a company – knowing that when they tweet a complaint or try to connect that they’ll get a prompt response from a human being not following an arcane script. Maybe they love it that you swing by just to say hello.
As a business, how do you know what your customers want? Simple. ASK. You might think you’ll look stupid, but really, people are happy to tell you what they want. I remember when a local-based, large grocery chain started tweeting, they came right out and said, “Hey we’re new to Twitter – what do you want to see from us?” At first I cringed a little – because I thought “Wait, they don’t know what they’re doing?” Then I realized – none of us do. How I use social media as a person is inherently different from how a big business might use it, which in turn might be far different from a small business would use social media. Even though there’s a real human behind each account, every person using has a different objective or viewpoint. Connect with your customers how they want – not how you think they should want.