5 Social Media Skills to Build Engagement With Your Customers
September 13, 2012 Leave a comment
The Golden Rule for social media is to use it, so don’t just let your accounts just sit there! Even if you’re a bit technologically challenged, it is important to get involved in social media and learn to use it properly. Social media is where your customers are spending the most of their time on the Internet, so if your business is not there you are missing out on engaging and building relationships with them. Social media is also growing every day – Facebook has over 900 million users, with Twitter close behind at 500 million, while LinkedIn has 175 million. By participating in social media, you have the potential to reach more people than you ever dreamed possible!
If the thought of managing social media accounts still scares you, try these five simple strategies. They will help get social media working for you and your business, and you will be on your way to building relationships and generating traffic faster than you can say, “tweet!”
- Find your balance.
It can be a bit daunting sitting in front of your audience, knowing that your next tweet could make or break your internet rep. Send a boring post and people with think you’re all business and no fun, send a completely random one and people won’t take you seriously. It can be a minefield, but just try and strike the right balance! Make some posts fun and quirky with pictures, videos and articles you think your following are going to love and balance them with more serious business posts and information that will be useful to them. If you can get the mix right, you’ll come off as a serious and hard-working business who still has time to post LOLcats for the little man.
- A post a day keeps the cobwebs away..
Is there anything worse than a dormant Facebook page? Seeing the last update was three months ago – total social media turnoff! You need to be aiming for at least one piece of activity (ideally two or three) a day. Alright alright, I hear you, you’re busy! You’ve got a business to run! Where are you going to find the time to churn out all these insightful and inspiring posts? Well, how about hooking yourself up with a dashboard to manage all your accounts on one page? The idea is that you can see everything that goes on in your social media universe in one place, no more swapping between sites!
- Repost, Reply, Respond
It is tempting just to let your following get on with it, read your timely updates and enjoy your humorous tweets. But, alas, it’s just not that simple for you! You need to engage with people, that’s the whole point in this social media malarkey! At the end of the day, you want to look like the business that cares what your customers think, and you want your customers to know that you care about them and you care about the big picture. So, you need to engage! Don’t just let followers comment on your posts, agree (or carefully disagree!) with them, chat and discuss, have a laugh with them. If someone posts something interesting, share it on, make your following feel included in your big family! This will also entice your followers to check back regularly as well as share your pages with their connections, boosting traffic to your social pages and website.
- Customer service is the key.
Customer service is starting to trickle into social media, and there is no running from it. If a customer has something to say about you, the easiest place for them to do it is on social sites, like Facebook or Twitter. Sometimes they want to share an experience, an idea, or just a general thought about you; your job is to take what they say on board. It’s great when someone wants to thank you or compliment you, but remember to always thank them back. They took the time to tell you how great you are, so take the time to tell them how awesome they are.
Other times however, customers may have had a less than great experience and they want to complain. This isn’t great for you, because it’s out there for the whole world to see. It’s bad press. It can be tempting to ignore these posts, not dignify them with a response. That is about the worst mistake you could make. You need to neutralize the situation – don’t forget, people are watching! Come across as gracious and caring, and never to sink to their level if they become rude or heated. Keep a cool head and above all, be professional! Show them you care and want to make it right, take their suggestions into account and let them know that you care about their concerns. If you show that you’re genuinely sorry and want to make them happy again, they’ll most likely recognize that you are doing all you can and will be appreciative that you took the initiative to make things right.
- Bring the social to your site.
You’re a great business and people need to know about you! Get your content and products spread
like butter across the toast of the internet by allowing users to share you. Do you have share buttons
on your website? You should! People like the ‘one-click’ style sharing, they don’t want to leave your
site to do it and you shouldn’t want them to leave either! Why not try getting a great social tool on
your site? Chat tools such as Blooie let you host conversations on your site, enhancing a users experience and giving them the opportunity to talk about how great you are.
These social media tips are just a few strategies to keep in mind, but if utilized correctly they will make a massive difference! Social is becoming more embedded in business and it’s your duty as a business owner to embrace it. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and show the world you’ve got the social skills!
Do you have your own strategies for social media that have helped you connect with customers and have impacted your business or marketing strategy in a positive way? Share them in the comments!
Written by Ellen Brown, a Marketing Assistant for Blooie, a brand-spanking new business looking to change chat forever!