Being on social media is nothing new. A lot of businesses are on social media. Many are even spending a lot of time and effort on social media. But are they using social media to actually engage their customers? Treating social media as another advertising channel is a big mistake. Here are some social media resolutions that can improve your customer engagement and lead to true return on investment (ROI).
- Have a Goal – If you start using social media without a clear goal of what you want to accomplish by using it, you’re likely to be disappointed. Having a goal first will help you shape your social media strategy so you’ll use the right networks, the right content, and connect with the right people.
- Think About Your Customers First – Social media empowers customers. It allows them to connect in ways that were not previously possible. If you think about your customers first when using social media, you’ll have more success than if you think about your company and how you can promote it.
- Listen – Listening on social media can give you a lot of very valuable information – much of which you would have to pay thousands for otherwise. People talk about what they like, what they don’t like, and what their needs are for specific products. Listening on social media can give you insight into how you should create products to match the needs of potential customers. It can also help you provide the right information to the right people to be more efficient in your sales and marketing processes. Most importantly, listening can help you connect with the right people in the right places.
- Use the Right Technology – Just because everyone says you need to be on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook doesn’t mean those are the best choices for your company. By having a goal, setting out a strategy, and listening to your customers, you can find the right places and the right tools to connect with those customers. In many industries, connecting on blogs and discussion forums may be more effective than spending time on Facebook and Twitter.
- Be Giving – People are selfish. They don’t care that you have great products or that you’re offering them at a great price. They want to know what’s in it for them. Provide non-promotional information that your potential customers would find useful. Become a resource in your field. Be respected as an expert in your industry and people will turn to you when they’re ready to buy.
- Be Patient – Whatever the strategy that makes sense for your company, don’t expect to get started and see results right away. It takes time to build up relationships (offline too!). Give your strategy time to work. Monitor results. Tweak as needed.
- Be Dedicated – If you’re going to use social media and expect results, you need to dedicate time and resources to it. If you don’t have time to interact personally, hire someone to engage on your behalf. Don’t expect to be on social media and have people engage with you without being there on a consistent basis. If social media is important to your business, you need to put the same resources behind it that you would any other important project.
How about you? What social media resolutions would you add to the list?
(photo by Arturo Donate)