Social media has taken over our society in numerous ways. We use it to keep in touch with friends, look at funny cat videos, and promote our brands. No matter what reason you have for using social media, human interaction and connecting with others has always been the foundation for its popularity. But, are you utilizing this free advertising platform to its fullest potential? No matter what type of business you are in, your customers or clients are vitally important. Connecting with your audience not only strengthens the business relationship between you and your customer base, but can also be the key to expanding it. So, how do you go about using social media to further connect with your clients? First off...
1. Create a Representative
In our current world, it takes most people an average of ten minutes before they can interact with a company representative on the phone. Before they hear the human voice, they are bombarded by robotic questions and seemingly endless elevator music. Many times, on social media, you’ll see a potential customer ask a question about a product or service, only to have the brand respond by a faceless/nameless human on the other side of the screen. Sadly, human interaction is lowering in corporate value. But the demand for personal attention from customers, I’ve noticed, is growing.
So, how can you take advantage of this demand to stand out from other companies? You can interact with your customer base on a more personal level. Instead of responding as a faceless brand, show a face. Create a human representative. This will provide a more personal, friendly experience for the customer. It is also way more satisfying to get a response from a real person you feel you can connect with.
Did you know people call Progressive Auto Insurance and actually ask to speak to Flo? People connect with the funny, relatable spokesperson when they see her on TV or online ads. The demand to speak to her became so popular, Progressive created a Flo chatbot to interact with their clients. If that doesn’t speak volumes about the power of human interaction (even just to appear human), I don’t know what will.
2. Let Prospective Clients Know You
Social media is a great multi-purpose tool for building relationships with your customer base, and it can help you make a positive impact on potential clients. However, it can be challenging to advertise and flesh out these online platforms without first establishing who you are to your audience. Do they clearly know your mission? Do you interact with them in a more personable or professional manner online, and how often?
You, as a business owner, know your product, brand, and service better than anyone else. Your brand is how prospects will perceive you, so you must be able to communicate this effectively to your customers. People often want to work with businesses they are familiar with, so let them get a sense of who you are!
3. Identify Your Customer Base
Once you’ve gotten your company’s identity out there, you need to identify your audience. How do you know where to look, and how do you find your target customer base? This might seem like a simple question to ask, but it can be more puzzling in practice. The best way to go about doing this is to analyze your current customer base. See which customers bring in the most business and what they are buying.
You can also try and link your current customers’ interests and needs together; most likely, people with those similar interests will be drawn to your business. However, make sure you take demographics into account. Things like age, gender, income, education, and occupation will also help you hone in on your ideal type of audience.
Once you’ve figured out both identities, you will be on a much clearer path to building up your social media platforms, posting relevant content, and interacting with your audience. These two steps can not only cut down on confusion, but also on the time and potentially wasted money it would’ve taken to market to an overly-broad audience who may not be interested in your brand.
4. Pay Attention to Trends
To reach a wider potential audience, it’s important to post timely content on trending topics that relate to your customers. It’s one thing to find a trendy topic, but relating it to your company and to your audience is a different story. You can’t just find a trending topic on the Kardashians and post about it if you own a restaurant. Unless they are branching into the food service industry, that is.
So, pick a trend that you can link to your brand, product, or line of business in some way. This will allow you to take advantage of the trend and benefit from the popularity. For example, if a new form of technology is about to be released and is generating a buzz, there will be a surge in web searching on the topic. Jump on that theme, figure out how it is relatable to your current audience, and utilize the trend to gain more brand exposure while the trend is current. Any post you make on this topic – be it on your blog or through social media – will most likely boost your visibility. If you discuss it while the trend is dying, it won’t have the same impact on your marketing efforts. Timing is everything!
Which of these strategies are you currently implementing into your social media strategy? If the answer is none, it’s time to dive deeper and start connecting with your ideal audience.