Not alot of companies and small businesses really get the point of social media and engaging customers. Often, we'll see people attempting to make sales pitches with social media, and wonder why they aren't getting the remarkable amounts of traffic they've heard about.
Soon, they discover social media really isn't about sales. Let me give an explanation as to why: social media is like a cheap form of branding. Branding is not like advertising, and it's not like marketing. Think of it more of the right side of the brain. It's building a relationship with customers, more or less. This often includes expressing a personality, communicating with customers, and familiarizing them with your brand.
The powerful thing about engaging customers with social media, is this creates brand promoters. Which can be a small business with a limit budget's best friend. The fact, people give more weight to personal recommendations, then they do advertising when it comes to purchase decisions.
20 Tips for Engaging Customers With Social Media
So if you are making that leap to social media, here are 20 of the best tips for engaging with your customers (because it's all about the engagement!):
- I know you want to take on the world, but remember…when starting on the internet, it's always better to start niche, then expand.
- Identify targeted social media channels for your niche. This is like the 80/20 rule. The more targeted, the more you'll reap from your efforts.
- Learn everything you can about your niche market. Personality, clothing, likes, dislikes.
- If you have more than one employee on social media engaging customers, try getting 2 different personalities so each customer can relate.
- Establish social media personas for your company to follow.
- Start engaging customers in other social media comment forums (other than your own!)
- With content, let each author have their own persona. Let customers subscribe to individual authors only to test personas.
- Follow up with all comments and questions.
- Being rude can sometimes cause a stirrup in social media and drive large amounts of traffic, but be careful to not let a company persona interfere. Don’t support either side.
- Some companies actually hire outsiders to stir up this ruckus, but I don’t recommend it.
- Be authentic.
- Don’t hide behind logos!!! I can’t say this enough.
- Let the CEO or Founder get out there in the social media world. Most don’t like to, but customers are dazzled when CEO’s are actually out there engaging with their customers.
- Build relationships with customers by speaking about real life problems they are experiencing. This helps others form a personal connection.
- Don’t be afraid to speak about painful issues.
- It’s ok to call people out, but be respectful. If you have something painful to report, don’t name names when engaging with customers in social media.
- Don’t be afraid to blog when you are upset. These turn out to be some of the best posts!
- Give a helping hand, but be careful to not over-extend yourself. Not many companies are truly helpful, this can easily become a heavy burden for someone who is.
- Engaging with customers for a building a new business is extremely helpful. It helps you create a better company.
- And lastly, learn something new from every customer. If you are actually listening, customers will tell you everything you need to know to make your business successful. But you can’t listen if all you’re doing in social media is being out there making sales pitches.