Social media marketing is a conversation between your business and your customers, whether current, potential, or past. Traditional marketing has always been a system of pushing content out at an audience and hoping that these customers reciprocated the message with buying something. As social media has become popular, successful businesses know that they can get valuable social media feedback and develop a relationship with customers which is much more engaging than ever before. But, still, most businesses struggle with how to translate a customer’s online commitment to a brand into an offline, everyday commitment to your brand.
Commonly, those who engage with your brand online are your strongest supporters. For instance, a study done by the social media company Virtue found that each Facebook fan a company has translates into $3.60 on average, and that same fan equates to twenty additional visits to your website. So online fans are valuable to your company and can be even more valuable if you can get them to take your company with them when they get off of their computer.
Luckily, mobile usage has increased so much that just because a user isn’t sitting in front of their computer doesn’t mean that they cannot engage with your brand on the go. Thus, make sure that your business is accommodating to the mobile user. For instance, make sure that you provide a mobile version of your website. More often than not, business owners have never tried to view their own website from a mobile platform. There are many websites that are beautiful when viewed from a computer, but are basically illegible when viewed on a phone. To further engage the mobile user, develop QR codes for them to learn more about your brand and products. Also try to experiment with other new mobile tools that make sense for your business.
Internet and TV are now interconnected, so this is something that brands can use. Is there a TV show that makes sense with your business? For instance, if you own a clothing store, it might make sense to do a promotion while the show Project Runway is airing, doing a live Twitter feed during the show using a certain hashtag. Advertise this promotion in all of your traditional and online marketing efforts to see what kind of following you can create. It is a great way to take an online effort and get your customers to engage with your brand on a whole new level, while also having fun.
Rewarding loyalty can be another way to help customers relate to your business in a different way. What if you take your most devoted online fans and give them a gift in the real world? Maybe it is a special item sent to the winner of your on-line contest. Or maybe you could reward the fan on Facebook who shares your page the most. Sometimes, though, simply publicly recognizing a customer’s value to you online – giving them a sense of brand ownership – is enough to turn them into a brand ambassador both offline and online. If a customer posts something about your product, tweeting or facebooking “We really appreciate Jason’s product feedback – we’ll be thinking of him during our next redesign” or even “Thanks Jason for your feedback! It’s ideas like yours that make us glad to come to work each day” will give him a sense of ownership and pride that few companies fully take advantage of.
Be creative and think of all of the ways your business can be more fun and engaging to your customers. You might just surprise yourself with your ideas and be rewarded with even more loyal customers.