Before we begin it is worth noting just how powerful social sites like Twitter can be. If you can find out exactly what is on your customers minds, in real time, then you can leverage the Internet to find out specific problems, issues or needs and provide solutions extremely quickly. The Olympic Games London 2012 is a perfect example of how unsatisfied customers and spectators made their feelings known over the Internet and had their questions answered, almost as quick as Usain Bolt.
Sports fans were very unhappy with the fact that lots of seats were left empty in the opening Olympic events, which they could see on the TV. Many of them chose Twitter as the medium to discuss their thoughts and feelings, and the messages rapidly went viral. This garnered a quick response from the Olympic Games organisers directly on Twitter, which resulted in tickets being redistributed to students, the military and some of those who could not previously obtain these coveted tickets.
This could have gone very wrong for the Olympic games organisers, but in fact it actually improved the overall positivity towards the games and goes to show the effectiveness of real time business/client discussions.
So what are some of the best practices that you can implement in your own businesses?
1) What do you want to say?
It is best to decide whether you are going to use the social media platforms to:
- deliver your message,
- increase your following,
- sell your products,
- provide value and assistance to potential and existing customers
- or all of the above.
Yes you can do all of them, but it might be better to specifically provide value to build trust, or perhaps you already have a trusted brand and would like to increase leads or contacts?
2) Knowing what to say and Where to say it
Now you know what you’re going to be saying with your core social media strategy you can now ascertain where you should concentrate your efforts. Will you be using Pinterest? Instagram? LinkedIn? Facebook? Twitter? Think about where you think the best return for your time and money will come from. See if you are already being mentioned on these social sites, look at your competitors, and always remember to test, test and test.
3) Cast your net
Once you decide where you’re going to focus your energies, get involved and go fishing. Once you have begun to market your brand and/or message you have to be patient, much like fishing. You might get a few nibbles, you might get no bites for ages, or you might hook a big fish straight away.
Getting Twitter followers or Facebook likes will not happen overnight, unless you are trying to manipulate the system (which we do not recommend) and it will take time, sometimes a lot of time.
However, once you have gained a sufficient amount of followers or fans you will be able to increase your brand awareness, add to your bottom line and make more and more industry connections.
4) Engage and Convert
Ensure that you keep your audience engaged and up-to-date with your current business practices. Keep them in the loop and remind them of your mission statement, your reasons for providing the services or products that you do and how you can serve them. At the same time connecting with them on an emotional level to keep them interested enough to care about what you have to say is imperative also.
There is a time for business, and also business in the time you willingly share and reveal a bit more about yourselves; Who are the people that work in and run your business, your aspirations and enthusiasm for the direction your company is headed in, how thankful you are for your fantastic customers and clients etc. Show your customers love and they will love you back.
5) Be Interesting, Be Real
After showing your customers some of what is behind the curtain and your reasons for doing what you do, you would be wise to point your fans and followers to other relevant articles, topics and even other companies. Yes, you may lose a few potential conversions to your competitors or other companies but the fact that you have been brazen enough to share like this gains respect and trust. So now you are not only a company providing your own services/products but you are a fountain of knowledge that assists readers in expanding their awareness and/or showing them what else they can procure or could be useful to them. This positions you as the go to company for being real, being true and in today’s digital world, people appreciate a straight shooter more than anything else.
Implement a few ideas like the aforementioned and you stand a good chance of picking up a number of fans, followers and eventual clients, in fact, I would go so far as to say; you will do very, very well. Do this right and your lifetime customer value will go through the roof. Social Media is here to stay, isn’t it about time you got yourself involved? I know a digital marketing company that can help you, call us today or fill out our contact form and we will get back to you asap!