Friendship is a wonderful thing, and although you can’t see it directly, you can see its effects in laughter, supportive gestures, and hugs. Giving more than you receive and truly caring about the other person will create a desire to continue to be around the other person, which will return you many years in a happy friendship.
Social Media Marketing is like a real-life friendship. It’s intangible, but you can see its effects in likes, comments, and shares. If a business truly cares about their customers and give more than they receive, this will create a desire for the customer to give their repeat business to the company, resulting in many happy years together.
If your social media marketing strategy is to try to sell your product or service rather than provide helpful information your customer really wants, you won’t get many followers, or business from social media. On the other hand, if you can determine what your customer *needs*, and find a way to meet that need, you will then be truly helping your customer, and they will notice the difference! A good rule of thumb is to create 1 sales post promoting your business to 10 helpful information posts. This generates goodwill between you & your customers and allows the customer to see your true business personality, letting the customer get to know you…like the beginning of a friendship!
Social Media Marketing is a chance to make a great first impression to potential customers you would not reach normally. If you don’t have a page…or worse, have an inactive page, a customer will think you aren’t relevant–by not staying technologically & socially current, you are in a way saying you don’t care, because to the customer, you don’t have a way for them to get to know you first. Personally, if I can’t go to a business website or social media platform to find what I need, I won’t give my business to that company. Give your customer a reason to like you within the first 30 seconds; you only get 1 chance to make a good first impression!
So how do you be a better friend through your social media marketing?
1) Fill out your profiles completely. This means adding your company’s mission statement; describe your passion (even if there isn’t a specific spot for this, be creative and fit it in there anyway!); why your business is different/better than others; hours of operation & location information, add all of your social media links & website to make it easy to connect with you; add any & all pictures.
2) When posting, provide helpful information about your industry & business, your charity endeavors, tips on getting the most out of your product/service, funny pictures that are related to your business industry, celebrate holidays, provide instructional videos — visually tell your story when possible. If your company gets an award, tell your customers about it! It may feel like you’re bragging, but people like to celebrate others successes and feel their support is warranted.
3) Know the value of social media. People are on these platforms to connect to family & friends, but they also enjoy following the brands they support in real life and telling the people in their circles about this great product you have; if they like it and are excited about your product/service, their friends will likely enjoy it too!
Since the people are on these platforms talking about your business anyway, be a part of the conversation — ask questions, create a contest where their input will determine what the outcome of a product or service so the customer can feel valued–vote which item should be kept or taken away (contests don’t always have to be about giving away free stuff, although free is always good when you can afford it!).
4) Be consistent! You need to be posting at least once per day on Facebook, 3-4 times per day on Twitter, only once per day on LinkedIn, and 1-2 times per day on Instagram. If you’re not consistently staying in the forefront of your customer’s minds, they will find another business who does. Even if the customer doesn’t need your product/service today, if you’re posting daily, they will remember you when they need you…
And that’s the whole point of Social Media Marketing and friendships, isn’t it? Be there when they need you. Be helpful. Be supportive.
Social media marketing isn’t a sprint…it’s a marathon that you need to run and train for everyday. Results will not appear over night, but they will come…you just need to do your part and trust your friends!