We all know social media is an important tool for brand awareness and customer acquisition — but how exactly are you supposed to convert randomTwitter and Facebook users into real-life customers? Well, that depends.
Different brands have different challenges when it comes to customer acquisition. Whether you’re a clothing shop, a restaurant or a subscription service, you must tailor your strategy so that it makes sense for your brand. That said, there are a few universal ways to help your company attract new faces on the social web.
I’m a big believer in creating and sharing meaningful content, over time, that is every brand’s best bet for creating and sustaining a following that will grow their business.
But what do you need to do to get it working for your business?
Begin by doing your research
There are over 500 million tweets sent per day, with 350,000 tweets sent per minute — if you have been in the market for a while, odds are that a few of them might be referencing your brand, or certainly your industry. This is a great place to start the social conversation.
Just because chatter on social media channels isn’t mentioning your brand by handle or hashtag doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Industry conversations take place all the time and people love to talk shop on twitter.
The key is to be proactive. Use twitters free tool TweetDeck to do searches for your brand, products, services competitors or industry, on TweetDeck which pulls the tweets even if users didn’t include the hashtag. As groups of friends or professionals have conversations back and forth on Twitter you can monitor and chime in with helpful info, answering questions about the topic or conversation and hopefully swaying them towards your own content or brand.
We also use Hootsuite, or you can use TweetDeck to search for certain keywords, and selectively reply to some of the posts you find.
TWEETDECK SEARCH FOR KEYWORDS
HOOTSUITE SEARCH FOR KEYWORDS
We often help clients to use social media for marketing because they don’t have a budget for advertising. Also advertising is short lived as soon as the campaign is over and your ad stops running so does the traffic or response. With social media once you get followers and keep them engaged they tend to stick around and keep coming back.
This search tactic works for many industry’s, you can monitor mentions and follow trends. This can help a brand to keep up to date which what people are talking about “listening” what they like and don’t like, positive or negative sentiment.
Another tip for finding new customers is to see who’s engaging with your competitors — if someone just started following or tweeted at or checked in at another similar business, you could tweet at the person to come check out yours.
The customer will appreciate the shout-out and the fact that you handpicked them to be your customer. Get clever with searches that are relevant to your business and offerings to help you target potential customers — then reel them in by being charming and human, not salesy.
For example DiGiorno Pizza took advantage of a best brand moment when rapper Iggy Azalea’s tweeted out a complaint against Papa John’s for privacy breach.
The frozen pizza brand tweeted a smart, albeit late response to Iggy’s diatribe against Papa John’s by throwing delivery pizza under the bus.
Use images to attract and engage your audience
A picture is worth a thousand words — photos drive twice as much engagement as text posts do on Facebook. So if you’re looking to attract some new fans, start creating some images.
Images you create do not need to always be product-focused or just promotional.
Here are a few examples from Kim Garst, they are fun, colourful and friendly. She uses good clear messaging and also photo imagery of herself to add a nice human touch to the pictures and make them more inviting.
Run a competition
Nothing gets customers going like some swag, so contests are a great way to boost your followers and engagement. But be strategic about what you’re offering, or else you could attract the wrong followers.
Budweiser ran a bud & Burgers competition. They asked followers to make a homemade burger, take picture or video and then tweet @budwieser with the pic or video, using the hashtag #Budandburgers & #Contest.
Contests and offers can be high impact customer generation events and if you’re planning on running a contest, first, build in actions that allow the fan to share to their social networks, as this will increase virality. Second, stay true to your brand. Third, tweak the contest to fit the platform on which you’re running it. On Facebook that means sharing photography, on Twitter it means wordplay and hashtags etc.
Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to Facebook fan growth. If for example your company product is clothing and your prize is free iPads, then you will gain followers that might not belong to your core demographic. Make sure the reward is something your customer will value, such as a gift card or grab bag of your products.
Liven up your social media networks
With so many platforms to manage, be sure to have a distinct M.O. on each channel — and cross-pollinate sparingly. If a customer sees the same information and pictures on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest, they need only follow you on one of these platforms.
Also, be wary of overpromotion. Nothing is more of a turnoff than a constant sales messaging — people easily can unfollow, and they will. We use the 80 – 20 rule, in terms of only 20% of our social chatter is about ourselves. Try to keep a lively conversation going on a number of topics, winning people over with personality.
Of course, a big reason why you use various social media channels is to promote your product, so there are some things to keep in mind for the messaging when you arepushing your goods.
“Prove the value of being a Facebook fan. If you can find the same content and offers on other channels, there is no incentive to also follow the brand on Facebook. Exclusive Facebook-only offers and original content reinforces the investment in the channel. The same goes for every other social platform.
Facebook is for broadcasting of events and initiatives, Twitter is more conversational and geared toward responding to question and conversation. Use branded content with exclusives for your social media communities.
Make it personal
No one like a mass message — consumers like to feel as if they’re the only ones being spoken to. You should know your customers and speak to them in personal ways to establish touchpoints that build relationships and create loyalty.
If someone tweets a question make sure to answer promptly. Try to humanize the brand so people don’t feel like they are speaking to a computer but to an actual person who cares about what they are saying.
Live chats are another effective way to offer intimate interaction and engagement with fans. It’s about having a conversation with your community, you can do live chats on Facebook to answer any questions customers may have, these posts tend to elicit the more ‘Likes’ and comments.
While you’re browsing sites for comments to respond to, don’t ignore negative feedback — addressing the complaint is an opportunity to convert an unhappy customer into an impressed brand ambassador.
Show your customers the love
Nothing makes a customer feel better than being acknowledged — or better yet, honoured — by their favourite brand. Is there a way to offer kudos to your loyal fans? If so, make it happen.
Make them feel special for being customers. Try to leverage referrals, customers can refer friends directly, and if the friend joins, the customer gets a referral coupon or a discount.
What strategy works best?
To achieve success on social media and build a profitable customer acquisition campaign, you need a mixture of the above techniques.
Use your budget wisely and test out different methods until you find the right combination of engagement strategies.
To learn more about how to acquire customers for your business through social media, contact me and I’ll be happy to give you some advice.
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