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How You Can Use Social Media To Grow Your Business
Does social media really work?
So you have set up a facebook page, added a twitter account, created a blog and so far nothing has really happened. This so called social media boom seems to have resulted in nothing particularly exciting apart from this vacant space where everyone can see how unpopular your business seems to be. Not good.
So what are you doing wrong?
Getting your customers involved
Getting you customers involved in your social media bubble is the first and crucial stage. You want to get as many of your customers to 'like' your fan page as possible.This is for two reasons.
1. You now have a broadcasting station where you can communicate to your customers you can listen to them
2. They have effectively expanded your market by saying to all of there friends 'hey I like this business why not have a look yourself'
So how do you get them to join?
Here are the top ten reasons Consumers Like Fan pages on Facebook (According to CoTweet & Exact Target)
1. To receive a discount and proms
2. To show support for brand to friends
3. To get a 'freebie' (e.g, free samples, coupons)
4.To stay informed about company activities
5.For updates on future projects
6.For updates on upcoming sales
7.Just for fun
8.To get access to exclusive content
9.To learn more about the company
10.For education about company topics
The bottom line is to offer them something worth value.
Lets pretend that you are a dentist business and you want to get your customers to join your Facebook page. Instead of simply putting up a poster in your office saying 'like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/mydentist' try something more provoking like 'like us on facebook and get 30% off at your next check up at Facebook.com/mydentist'.
Sure you are going to lose out financially but in the long run you have expanded your market and now have a platform for vital market research.
Learn from the Social Media Genius
Cant afford discounts or promos?
Ideally you will offer a discount because this is what will get people talking! But if you cant think carefully about how you present your invite to your customers.
Try adverts that make people interested, using the dentist example again instead of using the classic:
Like us on Facebook/mydentist
Try join the conversation at Facebook/mydentist
The more inventive you can become the more followers you will recieve.
Listen and Respond
Once you have got your customers to join you on facebook, you need to keep them happy and still liking you!
Spend time responding to comments on your facebook page and most importantly quickly respond to the negative ones. Everything is now public and your reputation is on the line so respond to in a professional manner showing all of your other customers that you take on board what they are saying. (Never delete them)
Also respond to the positive ones showing that you care what your customers think and feel. This can be with a simple expression like 'thank you' or 'glad we could help'.
Twitter has many of the same rules as Facebook regarding listening and responding. However it is also very useful to find new potential clients. You can search the hashtag option and find keywords related to your business.
For example lets pretend your a golf company selling top quality equipment. You could search the hashtag 'great day for golf' and find thousands of golf tweets. You will quickly stumble across something like this:
Now resist the urge to advertise your equipment and simply say 'have a great day'. By doing this you have caught this persons attention and exposed your brand to more people, potentially leading to more customers.
Become an expert yourself
I have only touched on this huge topic of social media and the best way to be more successful using it is to learn about it. Here is The New York Times and USA Today Bestseller: Likeable Social Media that I have read and highly recommend (author of the video also posted) which discusses different techniques you could use for your business.