Find a Treasure Trove of Customers in Social Networks

With a few strategic point and clicks, business leaders can tap into a trove of customers. Sixty percent of people online interact with one or more companies, 55 percent read product and service reviews, and 43 percent seek out company ratings online, according to Social CRM Insider. This is a ready-made source of consumers from which your company can drastically expand your customer base.

Social Networks

Add Social Networking to Your Marketing Portfolio

Consistency is one key to success using social media to connect with customers. Make your social media effort part of your ongoing marketing plan. Hire dedicated resources to scan the social sites, create your posts and watch for trends and consumer feedback. A dedicated effort shows consumers that you are serious about creating a connection with them.

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Choose the Sites Where Your Customers Hang Out

Are your customers stay-at-home moms who frequent Facebook? Are they professionals who use LinkedIn? Do they use Pinterest to get home remodeling ideas? Find out where your customers spend time and you'll know where to put your focus.

Give Customers a Reason to Pay Attention

As you begin posting content online at one or more social networking sites, give your customers something that they can take away and use. This might include:
  • Video tutorials on how to use your product
  • Blog posts on how using your product can make a difference in someone's life
  • Articles on trends in your industry and how that may affect future product development
Regularly posting helpful content will keep your customers coming back to see what you'll post next. If you include coupons or discounts on a regular basis, then you provide even more incentive for consumers to follow your content.

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Ask For Good Reviews

In the social media world, it's acceptable to ask for a recommendation. Ask for positive Yelp reviews. Ask them to click on the Like button. Solicit positive feedback from customers on your products and services. A LinkedIn marketing survey found that 83 percent of the people polled said that reviews affected their purchasing decisions. People may forget to write a positive review on their own. But if you ask, enthusiastic customers will remember to do that for you.

Solicit Feedback

Engage with your customers through the social networking sites by asking them for input. Ask for guest blog submissions on how they have used your products. These are like mini testimonials from one consumer to another. People may learn ways to use your products that they hadn't thought of.

Use Groups to Target Specific Customers

Set up groups in the social networking sites to draw in customers with particular interests, Business 2 Community suggests. These could be customer focus groups to get feedback about a certain product. You can use the groups for Q&A about products, services or the company. Or you can use them to make product announcements or talk about the latest enhancements.

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Show Customers You Are Paying Attention to Them

Let your customers know that you are listening to them and responding. Send thank you notes to frequent contributors to your blogs. Send photo Christmas cards to key customers that have given input used in product development. Respond quickly to questions or concerns. Keep your customers engaged in a two-way conversation to develop a loyal group of followers.

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