When it comes to running your businesses’ social media we’re always told to reach out, make friends and grow our audience. It allows us to form a network of like-minded industry peers and, more importantly, reach our target audience as well as both our current and future customers.
Let’s say we’ve engaged with the right people and put in the hours to become digitally involved in a range of topics relevant to us. All that’s left to do now is sit back and watch the sales and enquiries happen, right? Well unfortunately this isn’t totally true (although you’re certainly on the way!).
If you want to get the very most from your social media efforts and the audience this develops it’s essential to think about the tactics you can employ to turn people from casual followers into long term customers. The key to achieving this is all about adding value to their online experiences. The primary way you can do this is through the content assets you create and share via social media and your website.
Create content, or else!
It’s hard to escape the fact that all of us small business owners should be creating online content. Digital marketing agencies and freelancers suggest we should be scheduling posts 3 times a day, across all your channels. But although activity and reach is important it has to be balanced with an understanding of who you are targeting with this content. We have all seen examples of bad, sales driven content being shared on social media focusing on special offers and repetition. This actually takes away from the relationship you’re building with your future customers online as social media is not where they go for the latest sales offers.
Only say it if it means something
It may sound obvious but you can’t expect people to spend their valuable time reading information which does not help them solve a problem, increase their understanding, save them time or add wider value which helps them achieve their goals or objectives. Therefore, you need to make sure every piece of information you share is focused on doing exactly this. If it isn’t, make it better so it does!
Get your audience in your website
Your social channels are designed to give a flavour of your brand message. But, ideally, the aim is to get them into your website where you can focus on calls-to-action and other similar tactics designed to get your audience engaging and leaving their email address for future contact. This really is the Holy Grail of your social media strategy. By linking all of your social content back into your website, social traffic will click through these links and end up in places like your blog or key product/service pages.
Now you’ve got them, keep talking to them
Now you have that all important email address you can directly email wider content resources and even more sales driven content like special offers for members. As you already have an assumed level of trust with your audience – they have provided an email address, after all – they will be much more receptive to both of these types of content.
The real value here is how often you communicate with them. Different industries have different levels of elasticity when it comes to how quickly you can alienate people by being too over the top. For example, women’s fashion websites can send out many more emails when compared to an accountancy practice, although the latter could be much more detailed on an in-depth subject (such as tax returns) and would have more longevity.