It’s textbook Catch 22 – everyone in your organization admits that it’s smart to provide customers with social media channels but no-one in your organization has the time or expertise to set them up and monitor them.
Good news! If you have a couple of high quality images and you know what you want visitors to do when they visit your page, you can set up a social media account in under an hour!
Let’s take Facebook for example. With a few simple steps you can:
- Set up your business page account
- Give visitors a link to your website and, if applicable, physical address so that customers can find you and your product locally
- Provide contact information
- Take advantage of the call-to-action feature and make it easy for visitors to buy from your business
- Engage customers with your product or services using the multi-media posting features
- Best of all, you can respond to your customers in their chosen channel and build lasting relationships
Next, by investing an average of a few minutes a day you can increase awareness of your organization, build relationships, and sell your product. For businesses with limited resources, social media marketing can help accomplish several of the things that might be otherwise next to impossible in the short term.
Wouldn’t it be great to have the budgets of major corporations and create magnificent marketing campaigns that customers can’t resist? If you’re not there yet, social media marketing is a great place to start because you can spend next to nothing and test what works with your target audience.
If you don’t have a marketing budget, high quality images of your product, excellent customer reviews, well-curated content, and responsiveness to your visitors costs very little but it can put you on the map.
If you have even a small budget for advertising, social media marketing can be a great way to spend a little and learn a lot. Target ads, offers, and messaging to your audience and find out what gets their attention before risking it all on that killer Super Bowl ad!
The key to success will always be the human touch. If you’re not a marketing expert, don’t worry! Remember that you’re the expert of your business and social media marketing platforms like Facebook provide an environment that levels the playing field.
Businesses can use the very best that social media has to offer to build relationships one-on-one at the same time as achieving broader marketing initiatives. Not only are you building a loyal following, you’re nurturing a body of knowledge about your target audience that informs all the other aspects of your marketing, including when to bring in the experts and where to spend your money.
It sounds simple to get up and running (and really it is!) Once you’ve hung out your shingle, follow these three rules to quickly master customer relationship building in this channel.
- Manage your online responsiveness with alerts and notifications that give you the freedom to respond from a variety of devices wherever you happen to be. This is the edge that social media platforms give you that other channels do not. Use it to the best of your abilities!
- Address unhappy or confused customers immediately. A promptly delivered reasonable explanation and a heartfelt apology go a long way. Not to mention, others can see how you treat customers. How you navigate this territory speaks volumes about you and your business. Here’s some numbers to back that up! (https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-deliver-exceptional-social-media-customer-service/)
- Create a great customer experience. When you respond with speed, not only are you making one customer happy, customers with the same question also benefit. You have customers who know you care and you’re more efficient.
Get to Know Your Customers
- Make it your mission to understand your customer and their specific needs. Listen, and if after listening there’s a mutual need, you’ll have built enough of a rapport to suggest ways to assist. This is the only way to build lasting and loyal relationships online.
- Ask what you’re doing well, where you can improve, what needs/challenges your visitors have and be willing to do something about it.
Post Consistently and Relevantly
- Vary postings by using different media and subject matter to engage your visitors – experiment, have fun, and measure what works and what doesn’t.
- Don’t waste your visitors’ time – keep it relevant. That doesn’t mean you can’t be personal or use humor as appropriate.
- Find new ways to publish the same message. Don’t assume that once you’ve posted information you shouldn’t repeat it. Repetition helps it stick and gets it to a wider audience.
Social media marketing is only one part of a balanced marketing strategy but it’s one that can be implemented quickly and effectively regardless of the size, age, and skillset of your business. Facebook happens to be perfectly engineered to increase awareness, build relationships, and sell products/solutions with a small investment of time. Take advantage!