Tuesday, November 8, 2011

“I want to be in social networks but don’t know where to start with.”

Social Networks: Where can I start with?
This is a question that for sure dominated your mind for months before you finally dove into the exciting world of social media marketing.

“Where to begin with?”, “Which should be my first few steps?” “How to start finding those new customers everybody is saying I’m going to get if I go social?”

Often the goal is to generate new customers, contacts, relationships and a bunch of new things. All of them brand new. That’s for sure! Besides, aren’t all of those social networks specially recognized by its novelty and the excitement they are bringing alone?

If your business has already been underway for some time, and before you get started on the quest for new clients, I’d like to ask you something: What about your actual customers? Those who already have bought your product, experienced your services, and have an opinion about you, your company, and product? What are you planning to do with them?

As it generally happens, if your business has already been up and running then your customers come and buy when they need your product or service, right? And that’s cool. Some may come once every two months, others once a month, others more often, but they all usually come to you when they need you. The decision is always on their side, right?

Is there something you can do to make that different? That is, do you think you can get more benefits and advantages from your current customer base, those people who already know you?

I’m bringing it to you because the NCAC (New Customer Acquisition Cost... remember last time we’re on acronyms) or how much money you have to put down to make a new customer is usually high. You have many things to investigate and analyze, to develop strategies and set up actions to put it all together, as it was with this issue of starting to promote your business on social networks.

So, what can you do?

What about creating your first community around those people who already know you? What if you look for ways to get to know them better, asking about the things they like, how they use your product, what do they think about your customer service people, your prices, and many other things you might be willing to ask or get to know? How about that?

What if based on all the information you gather, you were to develop content which could be interesting for them? Not necessarily talking about your product (since they are already familiar with it) but showing a keen interest on your side to learn more about and relate with them. Don’t you think it could represent a valuable opportunity for your company?

I'm going to share with you some ideas you could implement in your business to "spice up" (or improve the performance of) your relationship with those customers who already have and buy your products:
 
  • Make a survey to collect information about your customers, their contact information, hobbies, likes, preferences, and opinions about your product, in short, anything that can help you offer them a better customer service. 
  • With this information, then build a database, keeping in mind to always comply with current legislation on your country and making sure you have asked for your customer’s permission to use personal information and later communicate with them. Since they already are your customers, you shouldn’t have that much trouble. 
  • Make use of traditional marketing tools to communicate with them such as direct mail advertising, including product catalogs with special offers. 
  • Try always to be available for your customers and not let them think of your competitors, or at least do your best for this not to happen. 
  • If you want to save money though, think of using digital tools, such as email marketing to prepare newsletters with special offers and talking about these issues you found were relevant to your customers. (Remember you did a survey at the beginning, right?)
  • Take advantage of your social media presence, whether it's facebook twitter, or the venue of your choice, concentrate on reaching out for those customers your company already has.  

And create your community around your actual customers! Interact with them, approach them, and invite them to buy from you products that could be interesting for them or even simply recommended by others, send them offers that may result in an “out-of-schedule” buy or make promotions asking them to recommend your company to their friends and acquaintances.

But make sure you stay there, by their side, to service them, take care and share with them topics of their interest. That way, they themselves may help you get new customers and then, both you and they will be very happy and there will be benefits for everybody.

You don’t have to rush and go out to find new customers. Make the most out of those you already have and build your first community around them. It will be much easier to develop your presence in social media, starting from this point. Don’t you think?


2 comments:

  1. Hi Joel,

    Excellent article. I think businesses need to remember their actual clients and realize that a big part of how a business grows is through continued engagement with the people you already have as clients.

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  2. Dear Teriel,

    Thanks for commenting my post. Appreciated. What I do recommend people joining the social media trip is to initially start taking care of their actual customer base.

    If they can get a 15% increase 15% from their actual customers, then I would definitely believe they will be more than happy to invest money on social media. Wouldn't you do the same?

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