Social media is more conversation than pulpit. This means customers ignore businesses that shout “Buy! Buy! Buy!”
The most successful business use social media engagement to exchange information with customers and prospects. This simple tactic costs as little as a few minutes a day to build trust with your customers by helping them out.
Here are five ways engaging customers with social media can improve your business:
1. Listen to the silence
Sometimes silence says more than words. When a marketer sees one of her company’s products hasn’t generated social media buzz, she takes action. That doesn’t mean discontinuing the product, though.
The silence is a cue to question what else customers want from the product. Taking their advice could give you
a new, buzz-worthy product.
2. Make your customers’ lives better
Use social media to support your customers and solve their problems. For example, provide industry analysis, recommendations, and best practices with LinkedIn and Facebook posts. Consider showing your expertise by answering a prospect’s question on Twitter.
3. Continue the momentum of a ‘like’
When someone clicks your “follow” or “like” button, they are thinking about your business. Capitalize on the opportunity and engage them.
Encourage them to sign up for your newsletter or recommend they read your blog. They have interest in your company, so show them more of it. Getting people to your website puts them one step closer to becoming a customer.
4. Carefully offer incentives
About 75 percent of shoppers like getting exclusive offers that they can redeem through Facebook. Incentives are a great way to engage your social media fans, but it can turn into a money pit.
Some people lurk for freebies and have no interest in your business. Get rid of free giveaways and instead, reward your business’ advocates. This creates an incentive for your fans to spread the good word about your business.
5. Keep self-promotion to a minimum
You work hard to perfect your products and want to brag about them. Resist the urge to use social media to do so. Too much self-promotion is a turnoff.
Instead, provide quality content, including retweeting third-party news and information. A good rule of thumb is to tweet or post about industry news or engage customers four times for every time you promote your business.
Image: JMR Photography (Creative Commons)