Have you noticed that for many businesses, the more they use social media, the more they lose their ability to socialize? How many businesses have you seen lately who only try to sell you, and have little or no interest in actually talking with you? Now, isn’t the point of social media for people to build relationships? Agreeing with that concept, businesses have the opportunity to build relationships with their clients and customers online. Key word: relationships. The more society becomes impersonal, the more successful business marketers like us need to get personal and focus on engaging our audience.
“Now, more than ever, connecting with other people on an authentic level is not only an important skill . . . it’s the new currency for success.” – Lisa Marie Platske
Nobody cares how many followers you have if they aren’t engaged with what you’re posting. Post content that is relevant to the audience you want, your ideal audience, not necessarily the audience you may currently have. If some people unfollow you, it’s okay because they aren’t the followers you want. I’d rather have fewer of the right followers than ten times more of the wrong ones.
Social Media truly is an incredible tool. It’s great for building relationships, finding new customers, growing your community, serving your audience and helping people find your business, etc. But social media, on its own, cannot find your most productive customers. Marketing strategy is needed to find the best customers. One of the most powerful marketing strategies is going deep, not wide.
It has never been said by the wise that spreading your resources and time over many different things increases revenue. It’s never been said because it doesn’t work. In the world of social media it’s so easy to get accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, etc, and not keep up on them. Why? Because you don’t have time. You are unable to develop the relationship you need to have with your customers, which is why they will probably end up leaving you. Build trust with your audience one person at a time. There’s no value in going wide, but going deep is immeasurable.
Question #1: Which social media channel should I work on developing?
Answer: Where your target audience is spending their time (based on age range, demographic, user type). What platform are you familiar with? What is your business’ personality?
“Success in social marketing channels arises from a resonance between your personality and the norms and language of that channel” –John Cohen
Start with what you know best until it gets you results. Master it, and then move to another channel and try it out. “Sometimes, getting out of your comfort zone is wrong. Spreading yourself thin is even more wrong.” (Cohen) Keep in mind who you are targeting. You’re purpose shouldn’t be to try to get lots of money. The most successful long-lasting businesses do not have an end-goal of money. Money is like food or breathing. It’s necessary, but it isn’t the entire point and purpose of life. The most successful people and businesses are primarily focused on helping others.
The main purpose of going deep, is not only to specialize, but to strengthen relationships with your customers. You aren’t trying to reach everyone, just the perfect customer. Nourish the relationship, the first encounter, second, third, and so on. “It’s like the second date and beyond with your audience” –John Nastor
They’re special because they came back. So treat them that way.
When marketers “go wide,” especially in social media, they are most likely trying to attract new audience members and customers. It is always important for a business to grow: The latest HubSpot “State of Inbound Marketing” report showed that companies that blog more have more consistent sales. Companies also report that social media has made the biggest gain in lead generation activities. But pushing info or products is different than being helpful. So continue to focus on creating useful and relevant content for people to like and share, and keep spreading your influence over more space. Use engaging headlines, keyword-rich information that can get readers from Google, and a consistent publishing schedule. But this is only part of the whole picture. Your greatest resources – and the ones that should have your greatest attention and effort – are the ones you already have. Take good care of your people.
Question #2: Is it more profitable to sell to more customers or continue to sell to your current customers?
Answer: Since acquiring a customer is a cost and you rarely make that money back from your first sale, keeping your current customers for the long-term will bring in the most profit. The longer a customer is with you, the more loyal and profitable they will become. Cultivate what you already have.
Why did they start following you in the first place? They aren’t there to get pure promotion, but for a behind-the-scenes view. They want information. The know-hows of your field, new product lines, sale items, or coupons only for email newsletter subscribers. Email is the best way to send out that information. Another great way to connect and build that relationship with your audience is through Periscope, which allows you to stream unedited video to them. Help them confide in you. Hear them, respond to them, and keep their information private.
Make the customer feel special. Call customers who make large purchases to make sure the product arrived safely and the customer is enjoying it. Thank them for their time through email. Send them a coupon around the holidays. Your customers will remember this. Give them a reason to return. Find more ways to engage with your customers, communicating with them and making it easy for them to communicate with you. Provide value for them, because if there’s no value for them, there’s not future for you.
So how do you use social media to strengthen your relationship with your customers?