Creating Relevance in Social Media for Small Businesses : How to deliver value, be relevant and capture your customer’s attention is a mouthful indeed. It also happens to be one of the things so many businesses miss the boat on in this new digital landscape.
Have you ever wondered how or what for that matter you should be talking about, tweeting or Facebooking to your customers? You know social media is important and you should be using it right? How do you keep your messages form getting old and not come across as too pushy for the sale? Well I also had that same issue back in the Myspace days, but soon figured out there were some key things I had missed the boat on. The following tips below is what I used to take a video game tournament company from zero revenue to over $25,000 in revenue and sponsorship in three months.
I’ve found there are five key things a business should focus on when attempting to be relevant in social media to it’s customers. It’s not enough to just offer up coupons and discounts to think you are adding value to your customers life. After all isn’t that what your business is really about? Adding more value to a persons life or to their business if you are in business to serve other businesses.
Think of it like your hand with each key point being a finger. So hold up your hand and visualize these points
1. Identify Your Audience: Understand who you are are attempting to communicate with and the messages they are looking to receive.
It’s not as easy or complicated as it sounds. Yes it’s not that easy. Some business owners have a hard time determining who to communicate their messages to when it comes to social media. You can’t think because the people who have connected to your personal Facebook page have any interesting in your business. Some may but it’s very likely they don’t.
You should have a “Fan” page for your business customers and communicate with them there. The best way to handle the separation is to simply to announce to your current Facebook following that you have converted all of your business dealing to your new “Fan” page and that if they have an interest in your business to join you there. This applies to any social network so don’t think this just works on twitter.
It’s also not as hard as it sounds. Take a good look at your business and think about who you serve currently. Don’t think about how many new customers you can get only focus on what you have (assuming you have customers already) in your database. If you don’t have customers don’t worry I’m going to cover that later. So now that you have identified your audience lets move to the next step.
2. Identify their Problem: What causes your customers the most grief? What is their biggest problem?
I know it seems simple but if you haven’t identified what your customers are having problems with your message to them will just more noise to be ignored. Don’t you hate it when you have an issue and you know that someone who you follow may have the answer but the only thing they tweeting is about the latest sale they are having, or it’s a come look at me Facebook page? Wouldn’t it be cool if they were actually talking about the very thing you are having an issue with? Or better yet if you tweeted them and they actually answered back with a suggestion or a link to a solution? You bet it would and that leads us to step number three.
3. Solve their Problem: Provide value to your customer by actually giving them the solution to their issue.
I know what you’re thinking. Well if I did that why in the heck would they buy from me right. I’ll give you an example of how this works. Let’s use The Food Network in this example. It’s a Saturday and you’re watching Everyday Italian with Giada De Laurentiis. As usual she makes something that looks amazing and you must try it tonight. Well just because you watched the show doesn’t mean you are going to know how to fix it, even if you have a DVR and can rewind. You may end up on the Food Network website to find the recipe, but while there you may end up subscribing to her newsletter to get more recipes. The next time you are in the bookstore you may pick up a cookbook with more of her stuff. The reason is she provided value that you got for pretty much free, but watching her show makes you feel like you trust her as an expert. Even though you’ve never met her you like and trust her. All the key factors you need in any health sales relationship. Now she is positioned to sell you cookbooks, pots and pans and whatever else Food Network can slap her name on. Get it now?
You job is to provide massive value to your customers. Do this and they will come back for more and be willing to pay you for the real stuff. You don’t have to give away the whole farm just because you gave away a couple glasses of milk. You are not going to give away all your secrets but enough to help and keep them wanting more.
4. Be Real, Be Authentic : People can spot a fake miles away. If you are trying to bait customers they will spot it and abandon you quick.
People know if you really care about their issues or if you’re just trying to make a quick buck by providing quick useless information they can find anywhere. Actually care about the info you provide and make sure it’s valuable. After all the info you provide is not only valuable to your customer is represents value you can use later, but that’s beyond the scope of this discussion so stay tuned or sign up for Our Updates so you know when that info goes live.
5. Follow up and offer more value: Now that you have provided value make sure to follow up and offer more value.
Yes offer even more value but this time it’s value they have to pay for. We are all in business to make more money no one expects you to you give without the expectation of receiving something in return. That expectation makes it easier for people to be ready to buy from you once they have already received so much value from you. After all wouldn’t you rather do business with someone that’s helped you in the past?
What do I do if I don’t have customers yet? I won’t know their problems.
I often get that question. That’ s the easy part. Research what your potential customers problems are on various websites, and offline. Yahoo Answers is a great place to find people with issues and that questions that need to be answered. LinkedIn Answers is another place online that’s more focused on business problems. You can start there and just answer the questions on your blog, in your newsletter or in direct contact with your potential customers.
You should now have the tools you need to start creating value with your message in social media. So your next step is to take a look at your past few tweets, Facebook messages or Google + postings and determine if you were providing value. If so then keep doing what you are doing. If not print this post and start following the suggestions. One more thing I would like for you to do is to to know if this post provided value to you. If so please Like it, +1 it or comment below.