When using social media and websites to connect with your customers, it’s important to not just look at those tools as places for disseminating information. They are not just “push” centers for promotion of your products and services. While it is important to advertise and share new information with your consumers, people will only be responsive if you engage with them in your online marketing activity.
In this day and age, everyone should be their own online marketing company, and there are a few tips for making your ongoing campaign successful by increasing your customer engagement.
Make Yourself, Your Company, and Your Content Accessible
One common mistake vendors make is exclusively promoting their products and services, and they exclude interesting supporting content. Consumers are savvy, and they need to be able to relate to you as a company or person. If you post pictures of your clients using your products, or enjoying your services, people can relate through common experiences that they have shared. Additionally, featuring related quotations, tips, or photos makes perusing your Facebook page or Twitter feed fun. It’s important to sprinkle non-product related content via social media, too. Besides offering special sales, or outlining services, make the content informative, light-hearted, and not just about your business in a blatant way.
Conduct Surveys and Polls
Any time someone has to click on a multiple choice question or give their opinion, it makes participants feel like you want to listen to what they have to say. Polling and surveying increases follower interaction. There are many website plug-ins and services you can use, like Polldaddy, to set these up, capture, and categorize collected data. These tools can also give you valuable feedback about what your consumers want. Beware, though; long surveys put people to sleep, and most won’t bother to finish them if they take too much time. A 2-3 minute survey is ideal.
Reply to Customer Requests, Responses, and Comments
If I’m a customer or client, and I take the time to write a comment or post a response to you, whether it be on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any social media site, I have the expectation that someone will take the time to read what I have to say, and respond as well. Remember, if someone takes the time to react to you, you should do them the same courtesy. Individual responses are great, but time consuming. At the very least, thank people for their time in a general sense. If people feel like they are posting to a black hole, they won’t come back and interact again.
Post Customer Reviews and Ratings
When someone submits a review or rating, bring it to the forefront. Again, this is about acknowledging interaction and demonstrating that there is a live person behind your online presence. Many times consumers email recommendations or compliments to business owners. Public display of your praise makes you look good, and the person writing the commentary feel good, too. It will encourage others to spread the word and follow suit. Everyone likes a few minutes of fame.
People love prizes. No matter what you sell or serve, it pays to give away. People will try to win products and will enter contests where you can dictate the terms. By doing so, you will increase traffic to your website, or social media outlets, and ultimately increase your customer base. Entries can be obtained using services like Rafflecopter, which require people to “like” your Facebook page, Tweet about your business, or perform other audience exposure tasks.
Opening dialogue with consumers, is a two-way street. If you ask for engagement, be sure to respond in kind. This will produce attentive followers, who will share your information with their friends and family, and enable your business to grow its online and in-person presence.