If you're using Social media as one of the marketing and advertising tools to build your business there are a number of factors that need to be taken into account in order to give your marketing message the power it needs to attract, engage and convert new customers. With that in mind we're going to take a look at the 5 most important factors that will do just that. Enjoy.
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Define a Response Strategy
The first thing that needs to be accomplished, and the one that most companies don't take care of, is that a response strategy needs to be developed to handle the comments, questions and feedback that your social media pages will be receiving. Let's face it, the last thing that you want is to have all sorts of potential customers sending messages and no system that tells your people how and when to respond to them (if at all) in a consistent voice that personifies your company and your ideals. This can be challenging, to be sure, especially if you're using multiple social media sites. Therefore, it is vital that you have guidelines in place for your reps on how to respond before the questions and comments start rolling in.
Make Sure Customers Think of You
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Another vital task is to make sure that customers think of your company when they are searching for answers or need help. This sounds much simpler than it is in reality. It begins with knowing what your typical customer is looking for, something that is only accomplished if you and your people have been doing your homework. Scanning discussion boards, interacting with actual customers, getting feedback and taking surveys, all of which should be online on a daily basis, can help you to know what your core customer desires and help you put a product or service together that addresses those desires and draws customers to them (and to your business).
Build a Rapport & Create Relationships
Building a rapport and creating relationships with your customer base is one of the main reasons to actually use social media, a fact that seems to be lost on many business owners. Indeed, social media provides a means for your people and your company to interact with customers and potential customers in a way that's never been seen before. If you're able to grasp this and use it the results can be fantastic. Like a 'real life' relationship you need to be responsive, caring and oftentimes give advice to those who are seeking it. Occasionally you'll get negative comments and you need to address those as well. (In fact being able to successfully handle an angry or upset customer is an important social media skill.)
Make Them Feel Special
Another important task that you need to handle is simply this; make your customers feel special. How this is done depends entirely on the type of business that you have and the clients that it attracts.
For example, if you have an online printing company a coupon for 100 free business cards for your best customers would be a great idea. Whatever it is that you do if you want to keep your customers happy (and turn them into repeat customers) do something that will make them feel like you really care about them and they will reward you with more business, referrals and testimonials too.
And Finally, Listen and Respond to Their Emails, Calls, Tweets and Facebook Statuses
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Lastly, you and your business simply need to be responsive to their emails, calls, tweets and likes. Again, social media assumes that there is some type of social interaction between you and your customers. Responding to questions, commenting on their 'likes' and getting back to them in a timely manner is extremely vital to your social media success. If you think about social media as a 'friendship' and treat the people interacting with you on your social media sites like your good friends you will be successful, it's as simple as that.