Social media is one of if not the most important development to business in the last 20 odd years. It’s rather disappointing then that so many businesses, large and small, just can’t make social media work. Social media definitely works so if you’re not getting results from it it’s likely something you’re doing or not doing. If your goal is to get customers through social media, here are some of the most effective ways to get customers through social media.
The first thing you need to learn to do is listening. Businesses have always been able to broadcast via mass media, while social media has made it cheaper it really hasn’t changed that. What social media has changed is the degree to which businesses can listen to customers. Businesses today can know much more about their customers than before. You need to understand who you’re dealing with before you figure out how to deal with them.
Engage and converse
Social comes first in social media for a reason. You must strive to engage and converse with people in and around your subject matter. This is where people see how much you know or how good you are at what you do. That puts you in the customer spotlight as a member of the community that cares about this subject.
As a business, at some level, your goal is to help people. While we love the part where we help them in exchange for money this is rarely where the relationship starts or ends. Your sales pipeline is fed by helping people along the customer journey. How do we help? We answer questions, explain things and educate.
It’s different for different industries but even in established no two businesses are the same. Even if the businesses are substantially similar there should be something that sets you apart no matter how small it is. Assuming that customers know this is dangerous. Sometimes businesses are bringing new products or approaches to the market and the responsibility rests with the business to make sure the public understands what’s different.
Again it may seem like it but customers and the general public do not know everything. More importantly, they don’t know everything about your industry. Educating customers on their rights and responsibilities in the course of business as well as how things work is important. It’s one thing to tell customers you’re a better option, it’s another thing altogether to educate them on why you’re a better option.
Creating communities around your products is one of the best ways of finding customers on social media. People love social media and love interacting with like-minded people on social media. So using facilities such as WhatsApp and Facebook groups as well as live audio platforms like Twitter Spaces and Clubhouse will do your business a world of good.
Competitions are a great way to find customers on social media and you have a lot of flexibility here in terms of what you can do. You can offer your products as a prize or offer vouchers for things like movie tickets, fast food or subscriptions such as Spotify. Competitions are part of engaging with the community on social media. Just hold back on the t-shirts, please.
Social media gets a little tricky in the sense that while we set up our business to be available 24 hours a day we cannot be. So while people will get in touch when they are available it doesn’t mean we are available at that time. Chatbots and autoresponders help to ease this but the fact of the matter is when a human touch is needed we need to respond as soon as possible. Ignoring enquiries or making people wait too long will hurt your business, even if you can’t see it.
Storytelling is another element that puts the social in social media. You need to come up with inventive ways of storytelling to endear people to your business through stories. You can read about storytelling tips, good storytelling and storytelling examples here on Startupbiz.
People, by choice or design, live based on habits. If you are employing a content-based strategy on social media or perhaps have decided to position yourself as answering people’s questions on your subject you need to learn to be consistent. Consistency here means being reliable for providing whatever it is you provide. This will put and keep your business in the minds of relevant people.
Social media doesn’t have to be a nightmare but it is a lot of work to get it right.