Your customer… That special person you want to sell your amazing product or service to, that person who tells their friend/s about your business, that person who turns your hobby into a living.
Phwoarrrr that’s a lot of pressure on your customer don’t you think?!?! How about we turn that pressure around and focus on you, the business owner, you’re the one who has ultimate control of your customer (in a complete non global denomination kinda way I might add!). When you commit to social media you commit to serving your customer and while that sounds like more work it is actually a lot of fun and totally worth it! You’ll build a VIP list of loyal customers, a lot of new friends and most importantly people who love your business. These people are your brand advocates- treat them well and they’ll return the favour. I’m going to share a few of my top tips for connecting with customers over the next few posts. Here’s numero uno:
Listen, listen listen
We’re using social media to connect with businesses these days and it’s super convenient that we can leave a message at any hour of the day (or night). Remember when you used to call a business and chat to them? You’d get the info you needed on the spot (unless you got the engaged dial tone or message bank) but sadly this interaction can get lost in social media and a lot of companies are ignoring valuable interactions. This is a mega fail in my mind and it infuriates me when a business does not get back to me! Of course there are some posts you choose to ignore because they don’t add value but if someone has taken the time to contact you please show some respect and respond. If someone asks me a question, leaves feedback on my product or posts a compliment I always respond even if it’s as simple as ‘Thanks hun!’. Offer your assistance and answer their questions- they are genuinely trying to find out some information from you. The feel good experience of having the business owner respond to me (yep it’s all about me, the customer) makes me feel special, makes me feel worthy of their time and ultimately makes me love their brand more. My brain gets excited because ‘they took time out of their busy day just for me!’ and you know what happens when I love your brand more? I tell more people about you, I comment and like more of your social media posts, I share your posts with people, I actively promote your good service and I buy more of your product. What are you waiting for? Start listening to your customer, offer some exceptional customer service and show that you’re really interested in your customers. The costs associated with this are your time but it’s far cheaper than paid promotion and you’re developing genuine connections.
Now that you’ve been all ears with your customers I bet you’re busting to chat your little heart out to them. Here’s my number two top tip for connecting with customers:
As a business owner you’ve done your fair share of research, you’ve experimented with different materials and products, explored new product ranges, read articles online and offline, developed your own network of mentors and you know your industry really well. All of this knowledge equips you with some great info to share with your customers through social media. We all love to learn and we respect those who take the time to give it to us for free.
Sharing knowledge is another business offering on top of your usual sales offering and the great thing is it gives you more content to post on social media. Offering your knowledge gives you more credibility as a business owner and as an expert in your field. When someone reads a tip from you they think ‘that’s a handy tip <insert your name/brand here> gave me!’ and this just gave you brownie points in their subconscious and conscious mind!
In developing content to share on social media I find it best to sit down with some paper (or some fancy pants app you love) and do a bit of brainstorming. If you were your own customer what types of things would you like to learn about? What would be some really useful information about a product or what you can do with a product? There you go, there’s some fabulous ideas for social media posts, blogs and vlogs!
Here are some examples I came up with when thinking about some small local businesses I know in my local area.
Lamp shade designer– offer tips on the various effects of different light bulbs (soft light, crisp light, warm light, cool light, mood lighting), how a lampshade can transform when the switch is flicked on/off, how to select a lamp for your space (how to style patterned shades vs plain shades), how to choose the size or shape of your shade.
Jewelry designer– talk about the origin of your beads (were they found at a market, are they a precious heirloom, handmade by you), talk about the meanings behind precious stones, how to wear a necklace (what length for what neckline), how to style your product with other fashion items.
Photographer– what to wear to a photo shoot (colours, textures, style), how to pose, how to choose locations with your photographer, the pros and cons of each season for photos, share amazing locations in your area along with examples of your shoots at those locations.
Online fabric store– offer tips on fabric care, pairing fabrics together (how to mix and match prints, unexpected fabric mixes), suitable fabrics for the season (weather and colour wise), sewing tips and tutorials, what you’ve been making lately and with what fabric (promote your product in a roundabout way).
Are your products on trend? If that’s a yes then show off the latest trend with some pictures of colour swatches, textures, shapes etc and then show how your products can be incorporated to create the look.
When you start brainstorming you can come up with quite a lot of things to share- just try to link back to your product or service where you can. You don’t want this to be a blatant promotion for your work all the time though. Getting the balance between sharing free information and promoting your business is one that needs experimenting- it varies for every customer so make sure you know who your ‘ideal customer’ is. After brainstorming look at the estimated number of posts you have and this will then help you figure out how often you share knowledge. You may choose to post on a set day each week or perhaps fortnightly or monthly- just ensure its manageable with the information you have to share and with the time you have to develop the content.
Not sure what knowledge you can share for your business?? Write a comment below with the nature of your business and we’ll have a think about some topics.
Social Media Professional
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