Your main goal for Social Media Marketing isn’t really about sales, it’s about relationship building with your customers and target audience. Building this relationship will then drive sales and growth.
A major advantage that small business’ have over larger ones, is that you are able to give your brand a personality that should fit the community you work in. You have the ability to talk about topics that are important to your community.
Social Media has changed the way that business MUST operate, it has given your consumers more of a voice in your brand and what you do. One doesn’t need to look hard online to see this in action, one example that comes to mind is Doritos and their rainbow coloured chips that they made to support the LGBT, there were a lot of people who supported the move, and those that didn’t. The ones that don’t support something you are doing will tend to be more verbal on your pages about it, but the beautiful part about this is that your community will generally come to defend you, and that only happens if you can create a meaningful relationship with them.
Now, you are probably asking, how do I start that meaningful relationship? There are a few ways to go about this. Twitter and Facebook have great tools to use to find out what people are interested in in your community, apart from reading a local paper (which is a great way to stay informed about your community) you can try surveying your current followers and get their opinions on issues and your industry. If you start to talk about their interests, they will be more likely to like, comment and share your content which will lead to more followers.
Another way is to build your email marketing list. Use social posts to ask people to sign up to it, and let them know what kind of content will be in your emails. Also ask them to sign up when they buy something from you. It’s important to not make your emails too salesy, instead, again, cover topics that affect your community AND your industry. When you provide content that solves a problem of your customers, you are more likely to have repeat customers and build a better relationship with them.
Digital Customer Service is becoming huge. Most customers that now have a problem with your service or product won’t tend to phone you, they will come and talk to you online though a post to your page or directly chat with you. The quicker you respond and address their issue, the stronger relationship you build. Make sure you have some sort of policy in place for acceptable response time, most businesses a generally within 24 hours, and yes, even on weekends. So whether you do your social media yourself or have a vendor that does it for you, make sure that your expectations are communicated to them.
The last thing you can do to build the relationship is have some sort of rewards program that offers some benefit to your repeat customers, because the worst thing you can do as a business, is not appreciate loyalty, just look at the big phone companies like Rogers and Bell, do you feel that you are being rewarded for being a customer for years?
As more and more networks pop up, catching your customers attention and building a trusting relationship is going to become harder and harder, be sure to stay adaptive to your business and customer needs and think outside the box, bland doesn’t sell.
Teach Me Social owner Kelly Farrell has been helping empower Canadian Small Business owners through social media for over three years. Her team now offers services ranging from training sessions for small business owners and their teams, to full-service social media account management. Visit teachmesocial.ca to learn more about our service offerings or to contact us today for a no obligation consultation, including an audit of your existing social media channels.