Top Social Media Questions CEO’s Have: Question # 11
Question 11: How do we access potential customers on social media?
First off, this is quite a loaded question, but I will do my best to discuss the multitude of avenues you have to reach potential customers. To start off, let’s define what a potential customer is. A potential customer falls into two different categories: a customer could be someone who has never done business with you before, but is interested in the products/services you have to offer, or a customer can be someone with the potential to repeat their business. It is exceptionally important to realize that social networks are not only good for brand exposure and connecting your business with those that have never done business with you before, but they can also can create brand loyalty or at the very least, increase the amount of repeat business you receive.
There are a few different ways to access the potential customer who has never done business with you before. The first step is to identify what social signals show their interest in your products/services. The easiest way to reach them is through advertisement placements on social networks. If you’re looking at advertising on Facebook you must consider who your customers are, what they like, and what makes them different from the other 750 million Facebook users. Here are a few examples: Do you sell chocolates? Consider marketing to those that are in relationships or those that specifically list themselves as liking chocolate or even competitor chocolate brands. Are you a B2B business? What decision markers are you looking to reach? Market to those that list themselves as that specific decision maker. Note: The titles CEO & Owner are the two most faked titles on Facebook. If you plan on marketing to CEO’s/Owners make sure to use demographic information, such as age to exclude the younger generation who are prone to put such fake info on their profiles. This will increase the relevancy of your ads which leads to a higher Click-through-rate (CTR) and a lower Cost-Per-Click (CPC). If you can reach a more direct decision maker such as the Vice President of Marketing or CFO then try and reach them via a separate campaign to accurately track effectiveness. There are many social signals that will allow you to hone in on your target market, if you’re unaware of the targeting potentials then I suggest consulting with professionals. Targeting is the first step to a successful social advertising campaign. If you’re new to the game, then I recommend contacting a professional who can setup and run your campaign. (We can help you with THAT!. Hint. Hint)
The easiest way to find potential customers for free is to monitor for relevant keywords mentioned on various social networks. You can do so using a tool called TweetDeck. TweetDeck allows refreshes regularly, which allows you to monitor virtually in real time. Using TweetDeck setup searches within Twitter will notify you when a specific keyword or phrase is mentioned. Then manually go through the mentions and reply only to those that are truly interested in your product/service. Offer an incentive for them to continue talking to you. Rule #1 DON’T SPAM! People don’t like it and you will get a bad reputation. Only offer your product/service if they’re legitimately looking for it or have a potential interest. People are also more accepting to a less relevant reply if you’re providing a quality incentive. For example, if you setup a search for “I’m hungry” and send them a coupon they’re more likely to reply positively than if you just send a message simply promoting yourself. If you have one store located in Orlando, Florida don’t waste time replying to those in Georgia or in the far reaches of Florida. Use the advanced search parameters to your advantage!
TweetDeck also offers the ability to setup searches within Facebook, but the two social networks are very different. Facebook users are much more likely to mark your reply as spam, regardless of your intentions. Generally, if you’re sending them a message as a business, you’re breaking one if not multiple terms of Facebook’s Terms of Service. Consult with a social media professional before starting any such campaign on Facebook.
The final way of reaching potential customers on social media networks is actually through offline advertising. Using your other marketing materials to promote your social campaign can contribute greatly. Consider first what the consumers incentive is to follow you on Facebook or Twitter? Is your incentive strong enough? Would you follow/like another company if they were offering that kind of incentive? Provide value. Sometimes you’re incentive can be as simple as the content/updates you provide, but for most businesses it requires giving a little to get a like/follow.
Finally, how do you connect with a potential customer that has already done business with you? This tends to be a lot easier. If you have an email database, you can definitely send them a message with an incentive to like your Facebook page/follow you on Twitter. Other similar techniques include monitoring for brand mentions of your company, and replying to those that have had positive/negative experiences. Many customers will be thoroughly surprised if you reply to a negative experience and try to right the wrong. Many times, if you correct a negative experience, they will become your best brand ambassador, leading to repeat business and word of mouth promotion to their friends. Be timely, accurate, and don’t repeat the same mistake twice. Use negative feedback to change the way your business operates to ensure that it does not happen to another customer, and certainly not to the same customer. The last way I will mention to reach potential customers on social networks is to let them know in the real world that you’re online. For example, include advertising within your businesses’ office space. When a customer comes by, they should see something that makes them want to connect with you online. A simple sign that says you’re on Facebook/Twitter will receive very little response. The best tip I can give you is to give your customer a very good reason to connect with you. You might try offering them 20% off their next purchase. That one time gift gets you in the door to update them on a regular basis and encourages them to make a future purchase.
You’re now ready to start motivating your customers to connect with you online. Unsure where to start or how to send ads to your target market? We can help with THAT! Fill out a Contact Form and our Sales Representatives will set you up with a Social Media Marketing Professional to discuss your exact business needs. Forget the generic, fluffy sales presentation and let’s get straight to the heart of what you and your business needs.