Social media is a staple in the business world as well as the real world. Using social media allows businesses to interact with a diverse customer base as well as get the pulse of the industry. If you are not using social media, you are years behind the curve. In fact, more than 67% of adults use some form of social media on a regular basis. Embracing social media in your business is one thing, engaging with your customer base is another thing. In order to set your business apart from the rest of the industry, engage with your customer base through social media now.
Engaging your customer base means more than just sharing, asking for “likes” and tweeting to your followers. Engagement means listening to your customers and believing they are vital to the success of your business. Your level of engagement should not change based upon the social media site, just the way you remain connected.
Engaging through Twitter
Can you market your business in 140 characters or less? This is what Twitter wants and businesses at the top of their game know how to engage with their followers. Do not just send out messages and hope to receive responses. Ask questions and provoke thought among your followers. Using hash tags (#) allows you to engage additional users with common interests. Identify with your customers by using trending keywords, check the effectiveness of your strategies and above all else listen to what your followers have to say.
Engaging through Facebook
Engaging your customers on Facebook requires dedication and attention to details. Established brands set the tone relating to interaction. Brand recognition is a key player as well. Establish your brand prior to marketing your business. Once you market your business, engagement means more than just posting information. Post surveys to keep the conversation going. Customers want to know their voice matters and are relevant in your business. Checking the statistics of your page is great, but you want real-time results. Sponsored messages are another means to reach out to a larger portion of the Facebook family. Remember, more than 1 billion people use Facebook. Do you want a piece of that pie?
Engaging through Other Sites
Don’t forgetLinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+. Each has its use in the social media space. Are you targeting business professionals? Use LinkedIn. Are you targeting a younger demographic? Engage with your customers on Tumblr and Instagram. Google+ and Pinterest are ways to engage with the small business owner and the older demographic. Regardless of the social media platform, remain genuine to your business, post quality thought-provoking content and remember social media takes time and effort.
Loyalty means understanding who is number one in your business. Your customer is always number one. Marketing your business on social media is all about customer service. There is a unique opportunity to engage with customers just by asking questions. Your customers shape the landscape of your brand and are not afraid to tell the truth. Reacting to their concerns creates a sense of empowerment. They do not have to be shareholders to realize they hold power in your business.
Keeping the Conversation Going
Do you ask questions of your customer base and expect a return on your investment? Keep the conversations going. How are you going to remain connected? Implement a strategy incorporating social media analytics as well as a means of injecting new ideas into your customer base. Discuss relevant and timely ideas while placing the ball in their court.
Social media marketing is not new. Embrace the changing landscape and engage with your customers. They will make or break you.