Social Media Marketing presents an incredibly unique opportunity that other forms of marketing have never been able to provide before: the ability to integrate and impact a wide variety of aspects of your business.
Whether it’s customer service, sales, marketing, market research, operations, or even finance, social media can do amazing things for your business if fully utilized.
In order to fully utilize social media, you should think about integrating into as many aspects of your business that involves connecting with people.
For instance, consider the following questions:
What is your sales process like, how do you reach new people, and in that process where can you direct them to your social media channels so you can stay in touch with them?
How often and by what means do you stay in touch with your current clients?
When you develop new products and services, does it come from a need or just a good idea? How do you find out what your customers are asking for?
Are you encouraging customer-service relations on your social media channels? Your customers want to be heard; whether you want to listen or not is up to you.
One of the most challenging aspects of sales is to make the most of each impression and point of contact with potential customers.
Social media allows businesses to stay top-of-mind with potential new customers much easier.
For instance, if you meet someone at an expo and don’t connect after the event, you have now lost that potential new customer.
However, if you can get them like you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, connect on Linkedin, etc., then there is a much greater chance they will notice you again soon.
Another idea is to add social media links in your online checkout process, perhaps even offering a discount on their purchase for following you online. Once they sign up, you can share with them sales, discounts, and new products and services.
Your Current Clients
The best way to kick-start your social media marketing efforts is to reach out to your current customer base.
How do you stay in touch with them?
If you have an email list of all of your current customers, send them an email asking them to connect with you on your social media page(s). And integrate it into your email design like OWC does in the picture above.
This is the first step in possibly connecting with their connections.
New Products and Services
Many times when companies develop new products and new services, it comes from a “great idea” rather than solving a need.
If you listen to your fans and followers, you could discover a need that needs to be filled, which gives you a much higher chance for success.
For example, the t-shirt company Threadless has really taken this to heart. Instead of hiring designers to develop new trends, Threadless relies on what their fans and followers submit.
Then, as shown in the example above, people vote for the best designs. The winning design is printed en masse as a new product, and Threadless rewards the winning designers with cash.
In the same way, you can get ideas from your fans and followers by asking them questions through your social media and paying attention to their suggestions.
Social media provides great opportunities for providing prompt customer service. It can be the direct connection for you and your customers.
These days, people are going to voice their opinion about you online whether you like it or not.
Your choice is whether or not you are going to do anything about it.
You have the opportunity to turn unhappy customers into satisfied customers by simply encouraging them to connect with you on social media platforms.
From there you simply need to listen, reply, and act on it.
For example, OWC’s team commonly uses Twitter to tell SaaS companies when their product is down. And they use it to ask software developers technical questions.
Return on investment is always a touchy subject when it comes to social media marketing.
However, if you fully utilize your social media pages, it becomes invaluable.
Integrating social media can drive more people to your social pages and website.
It can also help you make smart adjustments to your own business model over time.
So how do you make your pages work for you? You have to put yourself in your customers’ place.
- Rather than trying to sell product, ask for feedback and input.
- Rather than only talking about yourself, encourage your followers to share what they care about.
Once you change your voice and approach, take a step back and look at your business model.
See with fresh eyes how customer feedback can drive progress in many different aspects of your business.
Then apply what you’ve learned and repeat.
Brad Cebulski is the owner / account manager of BConnected, LLC – a social media company based in Appleton, WI. His team manages social media for small businesses, helping them reach more people and engage their customers with meaningful content and effective strategies.