There was a time when social media was considered by some as a passing fad. Something that “the kids” were using that businesses could never really benefit from. Over time, the skeptics were proved wrong. There are over 3 billion internet users—and over 2 billion of them have active social media accounts. Popular social platforms have become marketing giants, offering businesses valuable data about their customers and a (mostly) free way to reach them. The jury has spoken: social media for business is no longer optional.
When you have a presence on social media, you make it easier for your customers to find and connect with you. And by connecting with your customers on social media, you’re more likely to increase customer retention and brand loyalty.
Using social media to build your brand and business will bring huge rewards if used correctly. Here are some tips on how to go about it:
Make sure the information on your website and social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest) are up-to-date, accurate and attractive. Make sure your logo and background image are sharp, professional, and consistent across all platforms.
Try to post at least once per day on each platform and engage someone to do it for you if you can’t manage it yourself. This will help build followers; the most common way to lose them is through a lack of regular content. Make sure your posts are interesting and valuable to your customers. Posting a sale special will get you only 10% of the views that something informative or humorous would. Customers will keep coming back if there is something there for them.
This works best on Twitter and Instagram. Not only should you follow their accounts, but you should also follow their followers – as many of them will follow you back! I sometimes look at a competitor’s followers and try to identify potential high-value targets, then tweet to them myself.
Only a few hours should lapse before every customer is responded to – without exception. If the discussion needs to be private, post something like “Private Message Sent” or “Call/email me at…”. All complaints should be addressed, and a “thank you” sent for every compliment. Interacting with customers on social media, deepens your relationship with them and they never forget you. Many customers will re-post and tell others – so make sure your conversations end well – all comments, both good and bad, last forever on the Internet.
Take the time to interact directly with customers on social media. I personally monitor my Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts and respond to customers quickly. A tweet response to a customer’s problem at midnight always impresses and makes them feel special. An unhappy customer can be turned into an advocate for your brand. A tweet saying, “Sorry you had that problem (be specific), I will look into it first thing in the morning” for example, will change a customer’s entire experience.
Make comments on your company’s Facebook page through your personal account. It will attract customers to you and your company and demonstrates a level of authentic leadership.
Connect with your customers on LinkedIn. This personal connection makes the customers feel that you care about them, and they are more than just revenue to you.
Email is still the most effective method of reaching customers. Collect email addresses from every customer who contacts your company and email them creative and informative content. Emails should be less than 25% sales related, or people will unsubscribe. You want customers to look forward to seeing your content.
If you are not using social media to build your brand and business, you are falling further behind every day. No matter your size or type of company – retail, independent contractor, photographer, lawyer, doctor, carpenter, or florist – you can employ these tips today. They will bring you new clients and customers and sales.