No matter what your business, getting to know your customers and prospective customers by establishing relationships is a necessity. With so much competition out there, you must set yourself apart. As it turns out, Social media provides the perfect platform.
Social media is a primary place internet users spend their time. In fact, 30% of all our online time is spent on various social media channels, and this number is rising. Recent statistics also indicate 97% of marketers use social media to promote their business, and that up to 86% of those believe social media is crucial for establishing and maximizing a business’s exposure to their target customers. So, it’s no surprise that nearly 70% of companies in the USA have a social media team, or employee dedicated solely to the company’s social media presence.
Social media is a ‘must’ for businesses of all kinds. It is an incredibly powerful tool for marketing and advertising. But how exactly should you use it to sell? We’ll give you a hint… It’s all about relationships.
1. Be Professional:
Make sure your company comes across as professional. This means you use quality images, you post appropriate content, and you engage in a respectful and professional manner. Also, make sure you fill out your contact information and ‘about’ information correctly and thoroughly. If a prospective client or customer lands on one of your pages and feels like the quality of content is poor, the page in general looks cheap, or they can’t find the information they’re looking for, they’ll bounce right off of there and never come back. You want to establish yourself as the ‘go-to’ in your industry, so make sure you look the part.
2. Choose The Right Channels To Be On:
As a general rule of thumb, we suggest choosing 2-3 channels to start with when building a social media presence. Facebook is a must. The reason being that Facebook has the most-broad audience and has the most effective advertising platform thus far. Facebook is also integrated closely with Instagram. Therefore, you are able to advertise across both channels seamlessly and simultaneously. From there, do a little research to find out where your target audience prefers to spend their time and where they engage the most.
3. Maximize Your Reach:
Once you decide which social media channels to be on and establish a professional, streamlined profile, make sure your page is visible to your target audience. There are a number of effective ways to do this:
- Pay: We hate to break it to you, but visibility isn’t free. If you want your target audience to actually see the content you post, you are going to have to open up your wallet. Luckily, it’s not very expensive. Paid advertisements on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in particular are very effective if done correctly, and provide great ROI. With their integrated targeting features, you can choose precisely who you want to see your ads and content. This way, you know you’re not wasting your dollars promoting your content to the wrong people.
- Engage: Outbound engagement simply means reaching out to others. Believe it or not, taking a little bit of time here and there to ‘Like,’ ‘Comment,’ and ‘Share’ other’s content will go a long way. Every time you do one of these actions, you expose yourself to that page’s audience as well. That being said, choose carefully who you engage with, and how. Be genuine and personal so that you do not come across as ‘spammy.’ Be true to your brand and share content that is valuable and relevant to your audience. Not only does this tactic increase your reach, but it also encourages others to engage back with you… “Do Unto Others…”
- Cross-Promote: The more places you post your content, the more people have the opportunity to see it. Cross promotion is a great way to expand your social network without requiring an investment. Here are a few simple ways to get started with cross promotion:
- Add your other social tabs to your Facebook page.
- Partner with a complementary (not competitive) brand. Post on behalf of one another, and loyally share each other’s content across your channels.
- Integrate your email with your social media. Add links to your social channels within your email signature and use social content in your email campaigns
- Use your own blog. Embed social posts within blog posts, and share blog content to your social channels.
4. Give More
Develop and share content that adds value. No, this doesn’t mean you’re giving away your services for free, but it means you show your worth before expecting someone to invest in you or your brand.
We come across many brands that are so afraid of the competition they refuse to post or share any content that isn’t ‘branded’ (meaning it isn’t directly sourced from their company). Constantly selling yourself and throwing your product in people’s faces is not adding value, and will not build a relationship. If you want to attract customers and build relationships that will keep them around long-term, you have to add value without expecting an immediate sale in return. In fact, add value in excess of what you’re asking for in return.
Think of your audience, not yourself, first. What are they interested in? What are their pain points? This should be your primary focus when coming up with content for your social pages. Trust us, this will pay off in the long run. If you need further encouragement on this, check out ‘The Go Giver.’
5. Always Respond Timely
Customer service is King when it comes to retaining clients and building brand loyalty. Nobody likes reaching out and not getting a response. Cognizant indicates 49% of customers who reach out to a company via instant messaging on social media expect a response in real-time. 26% expect a response within the hour, 18% within 4 hours, and 8% within a day. This means, if you are waiting just one day to respond to a customer or prospect, you are only going to satisfy 8% of the population. Respond immediately.