By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter
How to Keep and Generate Business with Social Media
So, you’ve got a social media presence. Congrats, but if you’re just looking for likes, and pushing out press releases, all you’re doing is pushing out.
How do you also use Social Media to pull in potential customers? Utilize a two prong strategy.
Part One – Tell us How We Messed Up
More than anything, social media is useful as a direct channel to your customers, suppliers, distributors and end users. Instead of just towing the company line, make sure you’re listening when they speak.
I’m not encouraging you to feed the trolls, and remember above all else to never take it personally. But if someone is posting about a valid issue with a product or service, investigate it and LET THEM KNOW. Even if you can’t offer a resolution, just knowing that a living, breathing representative of the company looked into their issue can make all the difference. And when possible, do your follow-up as a private message to:
- keep the conversation one on one
- discourage others from piling on and
- to make it possible to go above and beyond for that one customer, without changing official policy or setting a precedent
If nothing else, you’ve saved one current customer, and quite possibly created a brand ambassador.
Part Two – What’s Behind the Curtain
A successful social media feed should always be a mix of product content, industry news and lifestyle content. But if you want to turn likes into leads there’s one more piece to offer:
Just like at a trade show, where you have mints and pens out for grabs by anyone, and better swag for a potential prospect, use content and feedback to see if the followers you have are potential customers.
Have a White Paper? Have enough blog posts on an industry-critical application for an e-book? Want to have a new product field tested? Maybe there’s a new training video? Trade some of your more valuable content for follower contact info. Not a lot, just a name, company and email. Use that information in a qualifying nurturing campaign, and a follower can become a lead. Just remember to start slow and gradually gain more qualifying information. Email for a white paper; company info for an e-book. Purchasing habits for field testing and on-site demo for a training video. By using the content you already have, an anonymous “like” can become a qualified lead in no time at all.
Speaking of which, have you downloaded Sonnhalter’s Vocational Education Database? Or our 8 Tips for Connecting to Contractors? A wealth of industry information available for easy download!