3 Ways to Turn Real World Customers into Social Media Advocates

by / Tuesday, 12 August 2014 / Published in Small Business Marketing

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Small businesses often struggle with bringing their social media presences up to par. Business owners may know how to bring in customers to their brick and mortar locations, and may even run their websites with a high degree of success but feel that when it comes to managing their social media efforts they can’t help but fall short, seeming to lack the “secret sauce” that allows other businesses and corporations to be successful. The truth of the matter is, if a business has regular customers within a brick and mortar location or on a website, then they already have access to the catalysts of their social media growth, they just need to take the appropriate steps to convert their current customer base into social media followers as well.

1) Create a clear incentive to follow you. This principle is one that gets a lot of mileage in content marketing in the form of “like gating” select content. The principle of trading something of tangible value for a like can also be taken into the real world, offering discounts or other special incentives to those who follow up with your company on social media and then come into your store. Many businesses use social media only promos to create an extra layer of incentive to those who would follow them, and this technique is still very much applicable to businesses that only use websites as their commerce platforms.

2)  Include calls to action on your physical marketing materials and on digital forms. The call to action is a marketing staple, so don’t be afraid to put it to work for your website when it comes to creating social media engagement. For digital storefronts, asking for a like, tweet, or follow after a purchase is made is a good way to capitalize on the goodwill after a sale. Place stickers in your physical storefront indicating that you have a social media presence, and include social calls to action on physical documents such as menus or product catalogs. Part of getting your customers to engage with you on social media is indicating to them that you have a presence in the first place and that you are ready to engage with them.

3) Feature customer submitted content on your social media presence. Putting customer content on your social media accounts is a great way to demonstrate the strength of your following, increase customer support and loyalty, and encourage other customers to participate and engage with you. Strong visual content is a great engagement booster, so having a photo contest of some sort or accepting submissions for pictures of your branded items or products is a simple and rewarding way to flesh out your social media while engaging your audience directly.

Photo Credit to Raffi Asdourian on Flickr

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