Developing a social media presence is a quick and efficient way to build a brand identity for your business. Engagement levels with social media platforms are soaring. Users, particularly younger ones, check their various social media accounts as many as 100 times in a single day. A social media presence puts your business in front of these potential customers when they are at their most engaged.
That being said, a social media following doesn’t automatically convert to sales. There are certain steps your business must take to leverage social media to sell more products or services. These steps include building rapport, responding to feedback, and making use of video capabilities.
Having a robust following on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and constantly spewing promotional content at your followers is not the same as building rapport. Eventually, people become inured to your endless stream of advertisements. At best, they learn to scroll past them; at worst, they unfollow or unlike your business.
Building rapport requires engaging with your social media followers and having productive conversations. Don’t just post about your business; listen to what others have to say. For example, platforms such as Google Plus offer the ability to post survey questions and measure responses. This allows you to find out more about your followers and get to know them on a more personal level – what their interests are, their likes and dislikes, and so forth.
Establishing rapport lets you see your followers as actual people and not just potential dollar signs. Then you can market to them in a way that feels less like spam and more like a personal appeal to what they need.
Respond to Feedback
Sometimes customers will tweet to you, post to your Facebook page or leave feedback on your LinkedIn profile about their experiences with your business. The majority of this feedback, ideally, will be positive. However, all businesses – even the ones most committed to serving their customers – invariably encounter public criticism from time to time.
When a negative review or comment appears on your business’s social media page, the worst thing to do is ignore it and hope others don’t notice it. By addressing it in a public forum and making things right with the unhappy customer, you potentially save a broken customer relationship and demonstrate to prospective customers a willingness to admit to your mistakes and a commitment to keeping customers happy.
With the short attention spans that people have on social media, and the amount of content out there competing for their eyes, it is often easier to connect with people through video rather than text.
When you have an important message to deliver, consider going live on Facebook or making use of Periscope, Twitter’s in-house app for live video. For a more personal connection with a select group of followers, Google Plus enables you to video chat with up to 10 people at once.