Regardless of your industry, marketing and sales are always going to be some of the fastest moving parts of your business. Using them to stay in touch with your customers can be a challenge, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult with the advent of social media.
Social media is how customers connect with businesses today, and the expectation is that these businesses will have a digital footprint on each platform. But platforms are constantly changing, and it can feel like a new web or mobile app is introduced every week.
Giants like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram have the budget to regularly innovate their user experience and supporting technology, while emerging apps like Snapchat and Vine are becoming larger components of the social media landscape. All of these platforms work to outsmart each other to get attention, which they accomplish by updating their features. And while this evolution benefits users, it can be hard for anyone looking to build their business.
With online communication’s rapid pace, one may ask how entrepreneurs and small business owners can stay up-to-date with social media, let alone be ahead of the curve and their competition. But it’s essential that you leverage these platforms for your marketing and sales campaigns.
Take the first step to social selling with these customer relationship strategies, and start accelerating the growth of your business.
Strengthen Your Customer Relationships
Healthy customer relationships are necessary for any business, whether you’re a B2B or B2C provider. Now, the saturation of social media into the business environment has led to many of these interactions taking place over these digital platforms.
Because of this, it’s important that you create, maintain and advance your online communication strategies with your customers, and that you make the most of the benefits that social media interactions have to offer.
Develop a Rapport
It’s easy to forget to be present and engaged with your audience when you’re busy running a business. But creating a rapport over social media is a powerful tool for marketing and sales, and it goes a long way to forming a loyal customer base headed for future growth.
For marketing, benefits include:
- Creating a positive impression of your business
- Reinforcing your brand
For sales, benefits include:
- Highlighting products or services
- Linking to your landing pages
Simply being present on multiple platforms helps customers view you in a more positive light, as it shows that you value your connection to them. Profiles open a transparent line of communication where customers can find, reach out and interact with you and ask questions in a public forum.
Digital platforms also give you an opportunity to reinforce your brand. By keeping your images and content consistent across all your social media profiles, in addition to your marketing collateral and website, you can ensure that your customers can identify, relate and seek you out first.
Plus, having a distinctive brand over social media makes it simple for customers to promote you to their friends. Referrals are hassle-free when it just takes a Twitter tag or Facebook mention that links directly to your profile.
Use social selling to create ongoing conversations with your customers. An informal rapport makes the sales process feel more like helping a friend find a great product or service, instead of targeting your customers with aggressive sales tactics.
These conversations are possible because social media is fundamentally casual. It’s accessible by anyone with a computer or mobile phone, usually free and able to be checked at any time or place. Because of this, it’s the perfect place to advertise your product or service without seeming too pushy.
Post happy case studies of how your product or service helped out your customers, or why they’re unique. For example, on Twitter, post pictures of how your hairspray stopped a potential prom disaster, or on Facebook, invite people to submit their favourite recipes using your cake batter.
There are countless ways you can advertise informally on social media. By using these platforms, you can indirectly highlight your product or service, build a great relationship with your customers and add to your revenue.
Social media also enables you to link your profile, and often your product or service, directly back to your website or e-commerce landing page. This makes buying stress-free for your customer, improving their user experience and improving the likelihood of a sale.
Respond to Feedback
Establishing a rapport also helps you engage with your customer, so that you can listen, respond and improve from their feedback, and resolve potential issues that may occur in real time.
The value of making yourself publicly available to customers cannot be underestimated in the modern business landscape. Social media is inherently accessible to anyone, global and constantly “on”, which means that customers expect that your business will be the same.
Regardless of whether you actively use social selling tactics in your small business, customers will assume that you will be online and communicating with them. Ensure you’re making the most of the opportunity, instead of not meeting their expectations, by using social selling techniques for your business.
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