Happy New Year – Let’s set your party up for bonfire night!
Fireworks – The theme of celebrations, but what’s that got to do with your social media marketing campaign?
Well, for one for thing, bonfire night isn’t much of a party when you’re sitting with a guitar on your lap, can by your side, singing the lyrics of All By Myself, by the campfire alone.
Doesn’t sound like fun, eh?
Probably wouldn’t be because people make parties. Fireworks, music, rides, bands, and all the other extras create the atmosphere, but without people at any party, there is no party.
Do you have people you can invite?
I get that November 5th isn’t for everyone, so let’s take things from a different angle. One that involves your business and it’s even more important if you’re an offline business owner, with a brick and mortar store, factory, or showroom where the public can walk in.
What would happen if you logged onto each of your social media accounts, announcing to all your fans and followers that your company is holding an open day, welcome to everyone to come and meet you, and chat with the staff over the inclusive beverages and banquet buffet?
Would the open day be as crowded as it should be, or would your premises be empty?
Your open day should be crowded. Packed to the seam, and you should have to consider the health and safety aspect and place a limit on the number of invitations people receive. Chances are, your premises cannot cater safely to thousands of people in the one event so restrictions should apply.
If you’re only marketing on social media to a handful of people, then you need to know how “engaged” they are with your business; if people aren’t conversing on social media, they sure as hell aren’t going to visit your business.
How engaged are you with your customers?
Your customers are the heart of your business. They do business with you because they feel some sort of connection. In this day in age, there’s very few (if any business) with no competition.
Consumers have options and a lot of them. If they have a bad experience with one business, they can and will go somewhere else; unless you have a truly unique experience to offer.
Take one of the largest pub chains in the UK – JD Wetherspoon; a company not much different from the @therealdeekelly. The people are split like Marmite. Love them or hate them but accept the fact that not everyone will be bowled over by your business, but for the people who are – make sure they know it.
Whatever the experience is that brings people through your doors, know what they are, and focusing on bettering it.
If you’re known for great tasting food, reasonable prices and service with a smile, maintain that level of service. It doesn’t take much to ask your customers, or ensure your staff ask how they enjoyed their meal, if there’s anything else you can help with, or whatever it is that makes your customers come back to you.
If you don’t know, you will know when the complaints land on your desk.
Once a customer begins to do repeat business with you, they come to expect a certain standard of service. The moment you fall short on that experience for them, they will do one of two things:
1) Send in a complaint
2) Take their custom elsewhere
For your business’s sake, I hope your customers use the first option, because your loyal customers are keeping your business going. Lose them and you lose part of the heart of your success, and it could all very quickly go downhill from there.
This is where you can use social media to boost customer loyalty.
The term social media marketing is tossed around so much that the very core purposes of these online communities are at risk of being lost, and it’s why it’s underutilised for business benefits.
Social media is an extension of your business. Never forget that! Instead of people meeting in your stores, coffee shops, bars and restaurants, they can talk about it online. They can connect with others who have at least one thing in common – your company.
The Gym Group
Another company getting things right on social!
If you’ve ever been in the City of Manchester around Portland Street, used your phones wifi, you can’t miss the free wifi option that pops up on your wifi settings option, because they have it in their gym. It’s accessible elsewhere though, because they use the Facebook check in.
Use that, you get free wifi, but on the downside if you’re surprising relatives, you’ve just announced you’re at the gym in Manchester.
How connected is that. You could have been out of town for months, and just with a simple check in, all your friends, and family members know you’re back in town, and suddenly your stream is going nuts, and that business that got the mentions – well, publicity goes nuts with the mentions in front of everyone.
There are so many features on offer to help small businesses grow through the use of social media that it’s next to impossible to fail to succeed. You just have to know how to connect. Not to sell.
It’s a share and connect world on social and that’s why your blog is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have in your arsenal of marketing tools. Forget paid advertising, when the best you can get is available at no cost.
Word of mouth
The only thing you have to know is what words are describing your business and you can track your mentions to monitor the conversations. It’s how brand reputation is managed by global corporations, taking customer service up a notch and giving people more ways to voice their opinions to the people who matter.
All too often when there has been a mishap in customer services the staff on the frontline may have far too much to do, that they can easily let things slip without meaning to. It might be harmless, but it could still be a time bomb? Unless you know what happened, you can’t do anything to make things right.
Email, Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Telephone, Postal addresses and any other means you have in place for people to reach your head office is what people want to know. When things take a turn for the worse, your most loyal customers will let you know and that’s definitely a good thing.
• Meal fell short on quality
• Staff miserable
• Products out of stock with no idea when they’re arriving back
Those are just a few things that could lower your customers experience with your business. If you never hear about things going wrong, you have no way to put them right.
When you get a mention on social, it will either be good, bad, or it might just be a conversation about meeting friends around wherever you’re located.
Social media gives you a chance to make that first connection with people, introduce them to your business, win them over, gain their custom, and then use all the tools you have at your disposal to maintain their custom are right at your fingertips.