Social media or not, Customer Service is what is being added to customers’ purchase before and after the sale has been executed! B2C retailers and B2B platforms should heavily reconsider rewarding both regular customers and brand faithfulness with additional perks and special privileges! Customer loyalty cards are already a given and let’s be frank we all know that most of those are not adding much value anyhow! It is now time to harness your creativity and develop a state of the art Social Business Marketing Enterprise!
1. Ratify your USP (Unique Selling Proposition and Unique Selling Passion) in order to focus the targeted customer audience your business will want to reach! The more precise the better! Brainstorm and debate: If you are still not sure about your USP make a turnover hit-list of your top 30 to 50 (or more depending on your business size) best customers and ask them personally to give you some input into what they would love your business to communicate about and sell! This will be a great way of getting them involved right from the start.
2. Your first piece of real estate should be your blog before even starting a website! Create one right away if you do not have one already and start communicating with your clients, prospects, visitors by posting relevant information around your USP relating to your audience, business and core values by publishing the following information:
- Own and guest posted articles
- Own videos (think of Gary Vaynerchuk’s creativity and audacity)
- Videos uploaded on your site relating to your audience
- Interviews, Podcasts and Webcasts on specific topics of interest
- E-books, White papers, E-articles
- Pictures, Recipes (if you are in the food business)
- Featured articles linked to other sites (it will help SEO)
3. Refine your Social Media portfolio by making sure you have accounts in the following areas narrowing it down to 10-12 platforms at the most:
- Micro-Blogging superstar: Twitter (a must for all sales & marketing)
- Social Media Classics: Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Google+
- Video channels: YouTube and Vimeo
- Pictures & Pinning: Flickr, Pinterest and Pinwheel
- Location based services: Foursquare, Gowalla has already been acquired by Facebook!
- Consider Web based curating tools such as Paper.li, Scoop.it and Twylah
- Start using bookmarking sites: Delicious, Diigo and Stumbleupon
4. Create a digital company newsletter, which should include blog content with some specific items reserved to your exclusive circle of contacts and personally delivered to their mailbox always including a call to action! Consider making this letter custom made according to their preferences and interests by adding personal perks and offers.
5. Customer Content Marketing: Communication goes both ways: Reserve plenty of space for your visitors to upload the same sort of material your company is uploading:
- Customer articles and / or links.
- Give them the freedom to build their community on your website: it will dramatically increase your traffic!
- Customer videos, personal videos even if not relating to your business (be personal and social and grant them the freedom to communicate)
- Personal pictures, anecdotes they would like to share with their peers
- Events customers want to share with your business and their community
- Trust them first, in return they will start trusting your business
6. Read, listen and consider what your customers are sharing with your business on your blog / website; it will definitely help you fine tuning and adapt your blog-menu to your audience’s tastes, needs and expectations.
7. Make it simple and easy for visitors to sign up and upload any media content (picture, sound, video & text) and please drop this annoying “Captcha” by facilitating the signing up process with most popular media sites Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or YouTube.
8. Transform all your written collaterals by physically including your customers’ most relevant Social Media Icons
- Ad your company’s blog & website link(s)
- Ad Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube and Pinterest logos to all your printed collateral including business cards
- Facebook, Twitter logos and links should automatically be printed on your cash register receipts with a call to action changing on a regular basis
- Make your inside signs with your blog address, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest discretely visible on both physical and virtual shop.
9. If your business owns a physical shop give your customer the flexibility to sign up on site (with a touch screen computer) to your blog, Facebook Fan page or follow you on Twitter: Reward them on the spot with some free goodies and thank them with a smile.
10. Embrace mobile devices (Smart phones & Tablets) Please do your company a favor and organize smart phones for your sales and marketing people ASAP! It is not a toy it is a modern marketing tool you cannot afford not to have! Make also sure that the same web / blog content is readable on any platform and remember BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is not a buzz word anymore it is reality! Welcome to the 21st century “tradigital” business!
It is extremely important to keep up communicating with customers while delivering content in real-time! In future posts we shall review more items on how to make SMBs more competitive in this thriving mobile social media environment!