#1 Establish a Routine
The easiest way to starting any new routine is to develop a process of getting things done. If I told you that you could spend 20 minutes a day on social media and be way ahead of the game, would you believe me? If you can’t afford 20 minutes a day to communicate with your customers, you are in the wrong business.
#2 Listen First
If you are unfamiliar with Social Media and all that it offers (or even if you aren’t), spend some time just listening to what people are saying. Follow your competitors, do some research on how they communicate with their customers. Follow other industry leaders, talk to your customers when they are in your store and just listen.
Use Google Alerts, HootSuite to streamline and listen to what people are saying about your business and your sector.
#3 …then Respond
Once you have done enough listening, jump right in. The best way to learn a new task is just to do it. Social Media, even with how it’s grown is still in an infancy stage – there are very few ‘wrong’ ways to use it.
Engage your customers, don’t just talk to them. Ask them questions, respond to theirs. Think about what you are saying and ask yourself: “Is what I’m saying relevant? If not, why – and how do I make it relevant for my customers?”
#4 RT & Share
Who doesn’t like a little publicity? If you catch a customer giving you praise – pass it on. Make sure to use their Twitter/FB name, ex (RT @ShoutItOutMedia Great time at your restaurant the other day – keep it up!) Not only will they appreciate the mention, it makes you look good as well. It’s free publicity, take it!
Pass along funny, positive messages as well. Your fans will feel special & appreciative. And it only took a second of your time.
Is there any value to a customer to follow you? If you are just blabbing on and on about useless information – you won’t succeed in gaining fans/followers. Think about what would be valuable to your customers and put that information out there. Special offers, coupons and pertinent information are things that they won’t be able to get anywhere else. Those are the things to get out there on your Social Media outlets.
#6 Ask Questions
The Social Media community loves to interact and help. That is how it has grown (and continues to grow) into the monster that it is. People love to pass along information as much as they can. If you ask a question – be prepared to get it answered, good or bad.
Deciding between the steak or the chicken, red or blue or whatever – your followers will get involved. If you are asking business decision-type questions on your Social Media outlets, your followers will be happy to help – and they will feel special that you are interested in their opinion.
#7 Be Patient
This is tough, especially in our ‘go-go-go’ society. But unless you come up with the next Facebook or 1,000,000 views/day viral video, your growth using Social Media will be (should be) slow and steady. A 12% monthly growth on Facebook is almost unheard of. 5% is a good goal to go for.
You don’t have to achieve 100 Twitter Followers and 1,000 Facebook likes in the first month. You’ll gain more friends, fans & followers who really care about you by taking time to care about what they say.
When you are starting from scratch, you just have to be patient. Use this time to find your voice and see what really interests your customers. So when you do get to 10,000+ fans, you know what they want to hear.
Social media isn’t about “Who has the most” it’s about having meaningful conversations.
#8 Make Connections
Just as your website shouldn’t be all about you, neither should your Social Media Marketing. The customer wants to know what you are going to do for them, not the other way around. Once you’ve researched what your customers want from you and your Social Media presence, give it to them in a timely and meaningful fashion and you’ll grow and grow.
#9 Be Happy, Even When They Aren’t
I’ve talked to many business owners who are afraid that if they start a Facebook account, people will begin to post negative comments for everyone to see. My question to them is wouldn’t you rather hear from an upset customer and try to remedy the situation than let them complain without you knowing.
Social Media gives business owners a great tool to see what people are saying about them at any time. Your ability to get in and interact with your customers hasn’t ever been this easy. A customer that has a bad experience is 10 times more likely to complain using a Social Media outlet than to your website, email or in your store. And we all know how many people they will complain to, imagine that number multiplied by all their Social Media friends.
It’s important to keep a positive attitude with your Social Media presence, even when a customer has a bad experience. Thank them for the comment and make it better. Your other customers will see that you are doing everything to make things right.
#10 YouNeed YouTube
Use YouTube to help gain followers. Viral marketing such as creative videos, contests, etc are a great way for your followers to pass along your message for you. YouTube is another free resource that if you aren’t using, you should be. YouTube is the second biggest search engine behind Google. Got your attention now?
#11 Be Authentic
How authentic would it be if I did your Tweeting for you? I don’t know your business, and neither does your tech-savvy nephew. You know your business andyou know your customers.
At Shout It Out Design, I don’t manage my client’s Social Media presence for them, I help them find their voice and monitor what people are saying about their business on the internet. If I did anything more than that, I would be a fraud. I would not only be cheating my client, but I would be cheating my client’s customers by lying to them.
Again, if you don’t have 20 minutes a day to interact with your customers – you are in the wrong business. I am here to help you find your voice.
#12 Call Me
Whether you are already doing some of these things and need more advanced help or you don’t know what some of these things are and want to talk about how they can help your business – I can help you get attention online and start making your website & online presence work for you.
With nearly 15 years experience with online & print media, I can help your business reach new heights using the internet. If you don’t have a website yet, we can help. If you have a website that hasn’t been attended to recently and are looking for a fresh, new design, we can help you too. Need help finding a presence using Social Media Marketing? We helped a local small business grow from 500 to nearly 20,000 Facebook fans in under a year.