Seems like just yesterday the race was on to see who could accumulate the most page Likes on Facebook and followers on Twitter. Then marketers realized that while it’s nice to have thousands of people “Like” your brand, what really counts is how many of them are actually buying your stuff. The emotional commitment isn’t enough. You need to turn that “love” into action.
By definition, your current customers already like your brand. So it makes sense they will like you on social networks. Your social activity can help to retain them as customers but what you really want is to leverage those connections into new leads. Just as with traditional marketing and advertising, this takes time and requires multiple touchpoints. Let’s say a customer retweets one of your tweets. One of her followers sees it and clicks on the link to your blog. The blog intrigues her and she subscribes to your e-newsletter. Months later, she sees something in the newsletter that rings a bell and she clicks on the “Learn more” link to your website. There, she reads about the product, and maybe visits a few other sites to see what others are saying. Finally, she returns and clicks “Add to cart.” A new customer is born.
This process can be quite personal in the social media world. Which argues for a targeted approach in your online marketing, rather than casting a wide net. If you pare down your audience and get more specific with your messaging, you can increase the impact of your social networking.
Part of this paring process is limiting the number of platforms you manage. Consider these three guidelines:
- Know where your prospects are. Target the handful of social platforms relevant to your most active demographics and really master them with good, consistent, shareable content, along with responsive interactions. If you try to have a presence on too many platforms, you’re likely to dilute the responsiveness – and the effectiveness – on all of them.
- Get engaged. Encourage comments on your own posts, and reply with friendly and helpful suggestions. Then branch out and comment on other blogs, forums, and social posts to get your name out there and build a reputation as a trusted source within various online communities.
- Offer value not just a pitch. Avoid hard sells and promotion. Instead, give people valuable information they can use. Sales will follow organically from the good will you create.