Interactive Social Media: How to Get Your Customers to Actively Engage
As business owners, we are always looking for new ways to find potential customers. In the last few years, social media has grown as one of the best ways to reach customers, especially Baby Boomers and Millennials.
Companies such as Facebook offer an opportunity to get feedback from our customers through direct contact. We can market to people through their accounts, and find new followers if they “like” our business page.
The catch to this form of marketing is that the number of followers you have gives a false sense of marketing success. It is patently easy to get followers on Facebook. You can advertise your page to build your likes both on and off Facebook. This method works for many similar sites including Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram.
The problem comes into play when you post pictures, videos or use content writers for hire to write provocative posts for your business on the social media site. Just because you have 500 Facebook followers doesn’t guarantee that those people are reading your posts. As a matter of fact, it is almost a sure thing that most of them are not. With the way Facebook operates and the knowledge that members cannot be online 24/7, there is no way that your followers are seeing all of your posts. Therefore, your 500 followers are not getting the full effect of your marketing efforts.
The key to social media sites is the social aspect. For marketing to work on a social media site, it is up to you to find ways to get your followers to actively engage with your marketing. If you find the right combination of followers and marketing styles, you can create a viral effect which will boost your reach.
To discover what will work with your followers, you will have to try various techniques and see which ones bring you the best results. Most of the techniques are not difficult to implement. Here are a few suggestions.
- Contests–People always like to win things, especially if they are free. It is best to give away gift cards or services related to your business. You should devise the contest so that customers have to go to your website or social media page and interact with it in order to enter. One possibility is to have them upload pictures of them using your product.
- Surveys–Pursue feedback from your customers with a survey or questionnaire. To get more responses, you will need to offer an incentive. It can be a credit on your website or a coupon.
- Coupons–Saving money is another way to engage customers. You may want to offer this to customers who visit your page regularly. A possibility is to offer coupons on Wednesdays to get customers to visit your page every Wednesday.
The essential idea is to find incentives for people to keep returning to your social media page or website. Each time that they return is another time that you can market to them with an ultimate goal of selling to them or having them refer a friend. In the interim, getting your customers to advertise for you by sharing your page will continue to introduce potential clients to your business.
Paula A is a freelance writer who works with a cup of coffee at her side to keep herself fueled. When she is not writing, editing or drinking coffee, she is chauffeuring her family to activities, making jewelry, trying recipes or making a quick run for a hazelnut latte.