You’ve heard and read again and again all about how social media is about being SOCIAL, creating trust & nurturing relationships with soft leads that with proper care will one day become solid leads for your business. The question is just how do you do that?
I’ve scanned the internet looking for ideas and clues of how other, already successful, companies and individuals are managing to do just that. Here are 6 great examples and/or ideas:
1 – Help your customers and followers find things they need
Zappos is one of the most successful online companies out there in the land of social media. This company provides a long list of products for their customers ranging from shoes (one of their most popular items) to eye-wear and accessories. Zappos doesn’t spend all of their time using their sales force to push products. In fact, they spend significant amounts of time actually looking for products they don’t even stock – despite the fact that they make no money from it. They have an approach to customer service that actually helps them build customer appreciation and trust in their brand, and they realize that the power of social media allows for disgruntled customers to reach millions on a global scale and effect their buying patterns in turn effecting the Zappos bottom line. They have a long term strategy of transparency and sharing with their customer that successfully nurtures the relationship and significantly increases the potential for a future sale as opposed to focusing on the immediate.
2 – Help your customers expand the use of their products
Pottery Barn has a YouTube channel where they focus on great ideas for how their customers can use their products (& sometimes the products of others). On their channel, they focus on how-to’s for party planning, they feature designer profiles & products, they give advice and actually create/build/share a story beyond the products. These strategies of sharing beyond just what products they have available are serving to build a great relationship with their customers.
3 – Help your customers with tech support
Boingo uses their social media presence for the purpose of tech support, customer engagement and community building. They use a plethora of mediums from Facebook & Twitter to LinkedIn & Flickr to engage with their customers. They are transparent in their communications with customers, and their reps are right up front on the profile with their names and faces to add a personal touch. They spend time on Twitter scanning for customers who make comments about their brand and they immediately address and assist whatever is said in real time. They use their FaceBook page to troubleshoot with customers and though they do share company and product posts, the majority of their posts are relevant links, videos, discussions and questions that are of interest to their customers without an attempt to sell. They are there to help not to sell & that assistance creates the potential for both future sales and long term customer retention.
4 – Post materials relevant to your client’s niche
Obviously, your niche is whoever your client or potential client happens to be, but what is your client’s niche? Generally, if you take some time considering your client’s niche you can post things relevant to them without any issue. For example, if you are a Pilates instructor, your clients are likely interested in fitness, they are likely women that fall into a specific age range etc. That niche would be interested in anything that would assist them in balancing their hectic schedules while still nurturing their ability to enhance their physical abilities. Highlighting vitamins & nutrients or recipes for healthy meals are a great way to add value to their lives and nurture your relationship with them. This is just one example but there’s a plethora of ideas that will apply to your clients.
5 – Consider connecting your ideal client with contacts in your network that might benefit their business.
In your industry you have come across multiple contacts of value. Why not connect those valuable contacts with your customers and potential customers? Most people have a plethora of clients, potential clients and contacts who are not in direct competition with their business. With the economy the way it is, it would be a blessing to any one of them to get more business, not to mention the value you would add to the lives of your followers by connecting them with people of integrity who can serve their needs. Highlight some of your best clients and contacts in your newsletter or on your social media forums now and then. Everyone will be grateful for your willingness to share.
6 – Connect your followers to useful content across the web.
Science has proven that the sharing of good news and transformational stories actually inspires people to be better. It seems inspiring people to be better and in turn improving the world is one of the primary focuses of any spiritually tuned-in individual. That said, it only makes sense to share stories of inspiration and good news with your email list and social media forums. Share stories that inspire & then ask questions that prompt your followers to make changes in both their lives and the world. Share your own stories of inspiration. Write a blog or article about something that inspires you. By inspiring your followers, you improve their lives. There are sites such as DailyGood out there that focus purely on good news where you can find all sorts of great things to share. Ode Magazine is another great source for positive information. I say while we’re all holding positive space for the transforming of the world we may as well create some positivity while we’re standing there!! Bring Sunshine, Joy, Happiness & Love to your community.
Good luck on your quest toward a smoothly running social media system for your business & be sure to let me know if you have any questions. Feel free to Fill in the form on the Contact Us page, or Email Me or even come to the Facebook Fan Page and ask questions/make comments.