For many businesses, small and large, the conversation has shifted from ‘why should we be using social media’ to ‘how should we be using our social media channels effectively’.
Social media is a powerful tool. If used productively, your business will see an increase of brand awareness, website traffic and conversation. However many businesses have their priorities all wrong. In order to understand where their money is being spent, they treat social media as a sales pitch. Their potential customers join social media to be social, not to be bombarded with continuous advertisements, so their efforts are often wasted.
Here are six ways your business should be using social media to acquire new customer leads:
Introduce Cultural Anthropology
It is important to know where your customers are. There are cultural anthropology tools which allow you to input your customers’ email addresses in return for insight to which social network channels that customer is actively on. Flowtown and Rapleaf allow companies to see which customers are on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other niche social channels. This services also allow for companies to learn where their customer’s interests lie and additional public information.
Monitor Twitter Searches
There are a whopping 340 million tweets sent per day. The chances that some of these tweets reference your industry is pretty high. Just because people haven’t tagged you in their update, or used the hashtag from your latest campaign, doesn’t mean that people are not tweeting about your brand. You can use Hootsuite twitter searches for your brand and monitor industry key-terms regularly. If you see a post of interest, give helpful information and answer any questions.
Use Images to Engage
Photographs drive twice as much response as text on Facebook. So, if you’re looking to attract new followers; get creative. Take fun images that promote your brand and your services effectively. Are there any social media trends or holidays coming up? Take advantage and use this as a basis to help you generate content and stand out from your competitors.
Host a Contest
Hosting a social media contest is a great way to increase your followers and engagement levels. A contest which involves participants to share content to their following allows your brand to gain instant exposure. However, you should remain true to your brand and be strategic with what you’re offering because sometimes you can attract the wrong followers. Remember the quality of fans is better than the quantity of fans.
Make it Personal
You must make your social media marketing personal. Your customers should feel like they’re the only ones being spoken to. It goes without saying, if somebody engages in conversation with your brand you should respond immediately. Live chat is an effective way to have a conversation with your community and interact with new followers. Do you cater for brides? Get involved with #WeddingHour. Perhaps your company sells handmade goods? Participate in #MakeHour. There are many hashtag live chats your company can get involved with.
Once you are consistent with the content that you are posting on social media, you will begin to see regular responses on all your channels. When possible, try to acknowledge your followers and share their enthusiasm. When suitable you should repost their reviews, testimonials and photographs. Not only will this give you more content to share, these followers will more likely to become loyal after their favorite brand publicly recognized them.
Your business should monitor exposure, influence and engagement levels regularly. By making customers aware of your brand, you will be able to successfully convert customer leads into sales over a period of time. Your social media plan should be systematic and outline targets that ties to your company’s overall goals. Whatever you do: don’t expect instant results and force sale messages onto your fan base.
Mod Master Contributor, Dawn Ellis
Dawn Ellis writes for alldayPA, a telephone answering service offering businesses a bespoke call handling service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Personally, Dawn is interested in design, social networking, search engine optimization and all things digital. You can follow her on Twitter @dawnellis191.