In a bid to connect with customers, we’ve all been told to embrace social media.
This may prompt a rush to create profiles and queue messages plugging your newest product, but that would be the wrong thing to do.
Poor headlines are the common denominator between emails that don’t get opened and blog posts that get skipped over. People always have the ‘I’ll come back later’ mindset, but they never do. With everyone seeking instant gratification, social media provides the one way you can force a prospect to slow down and ‘smell the roses’.
This strategy involves careful planning and execution, as we’re moving away from the realm of in-your-face-marketing to engagement marketing. By drawing the customer into your ‘world’, so they become a part of the brand, your marketing becomes easier.
By creating lasting relationships with clients, you can find out how and why they choose your product. This can give you insight into new product development or product add-ons. The knowledge from this kind of marketing makes your business agile, allowing you to pivot quickly when necessary.
Social media offers the best way to do this; for one you can respond to customer questions and complaints instantaneously.
Whether you have a solution to their problem or not, the fact that a brand is ‘present’, always surprises customers. It’s better to have a slightly miffed but pleasantly surprised customer than a fuming-at-being-ignored customer.
At Search & More, the following are some of the tips we use to help our customers create meaningful customer interactions:
1. Find out what the audience really wants.
Social listening involves more than listening for mentions of your brand name so you can ‘jump’ into the conversation. The Internet is one large database of info, allowing people to make comparisons on the fly.
Listening for more than just your brand name can give you insight into what the demographic feels about the industry, competitors, and you. So, listen for your competitors brand name, product or buzzwords in your industry. For customers stuck between decisions, chime in and engage them.
2. Create your social media policy.
Now that you know some more about your ideal demographic, create a social media policy. Look through existing company policies; you may already have most of the basics covered.
If not, sit down with your marketing team and create one. This document will outline how your business interacts on social media, what social networks the firm is on, who is allowed to post etc. By having all members of staff on the same page, the company culture is easily translated across all platforms.
3. Speak their lingo.
Customers are more likely to engage with brands that seem to understand them more. Part of this is by speaking the language of the industry. Outside the digital marketing space, few people could care less what SEO means.
This can also be used when capitalising on trending topics. Oreos did this during the SuperBowl blackout incident, with a tweet made up of part product placement, part tongue-in-cheek-reference, and an eye-catching picture. Be careful about jumping on trends. If your audience sees your message as insensitive, it can backfire.
4. Use multiple platforms.
To increase your social media reach while staying within budget, use multiple platforms. Apart from the primary social media platform, where your ideal prospects are known to hang out, use platforms that don’t require 100% original content.
This allows you re-purpose and curate content on on multiple platforms, without an added expense.
5. Fail fast.
Not every post will work brilliantly to build engagement. You have to pay attention to key metrics to measure what type of message is bringing the most engagement. Your goal with engagement marketing is to build relationships with customers and prospects by listening to their opinions and get them to share yours.
We’ve also found that a little humour goes a long way on social media. As long as it’s not insulting, don’t be afraid to show your company’s fun side. Weekend sweepstakes, small prizes, even themed days, can be used to show your followers that it’s not always about the money.
Engagement marketing can yield the best ROI your business has ever experienced. Especially as it makes it easy to find, interact with and nurture brand evangelists. Satisfied customers have no problem sharing, tweeting or posting about your business, if there is some type of relationship.
By pursuing engagement marketing, your campaigns can become infinitely cheaper to manage. While some of these steps may seem daunting, it’s really not difficult. Automation can help you do most of it. But if you don’t want to be stuck learning how to use it, contact Search & More and let’s help your business today.