How to Connect with Your Customers on Social Media
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How to Connect with Your Customers on Social Media

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Small business owners struggle with figuring out why they should use social media and how they can share content. In this presentation that I gave to small business owners, I gave examples of how to share on social media to build your brand and communicate with your customers and prospects.

Using examples from brands I love on social media, such as Oreo, Post Planner, and General Electric, I wanted to inspire people to look for inspiration from social media, not to copy, but to see what they are doing and how they can do something similar. You always have the option of sharing someone else's content and giving them credit for this. Being generous is great and it is less content that you have to create from scratch.

Here are some ways that you can connect with customers on social media:

1. Share your story

General Electric is an established brand with a great history. They post current content and posts like this one that give great social proof to their company.

Post by GE.

2. Gather email leads

Use the links and widgets available to gather email leads. If you don't ask, you won't build your email list. This example is from a Facebook page with an email signup box from MailChimp.

email sign up

3. Top of mind awareness

Keeping active on your social media accounts keeps your brand alive in people's streams. Share on X

Pinterest created this adorable Valentine themed board and shared it via email and social media to give their follower more great things to pin and visit their website.

Can you create some tools or shareables that your customers would enjoy and provide value to their social media if they shared it?

Follow Pinterest's board Send a valentine on Pinterest.

4. Show your brand's personality

Oreo never fails to impress me with their charming and funny social media posts.

A snack so special, you could call it an office romance. See it now. #RedVelvetOreo flavored cookies. #ValentinesDay https://t.co/qvXUpHSXkh

— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 11, 2015

5. Ask questions

Gary Vaynerchuk started a brilliant video series called #AskGaryVee. You ask questions, he answers via video. Gary is connecting with his community, finding out what people are interested in, getting amazing user-generated content, and building buzz for his YouTube series. Did I say brilliant? Yes.

6. Become more relevant

Mia Voss is a gem that I found on Google+. She's a connector and is using her networking skills to carve out a digital niche for herself. She shines on Google+ Hangouts and puts the spotlights on her guests.

 

7. Meet potential clients

Post Planner is hoping to meet potential clients on Pinterest by creating valuable resource boards for their current and future fans. It's a great way to show people what you know and what you're offering.

Follow Post Planner's board Facebook How-To's on Pinterest.

8. Create partnerships

Donna Moritz of Socially Sorted created a fantastic round-up post and asked for her colleagues to share an idea that she used to create a valuable resource post called 36 Visual Content Creation Tools the Pros Can’t Live Without

visual content creation tools

9. Connect with your community

I've started a weekly Thanks a Latte Facebook Q&A to connect with my Facebook community. It's great to hear what people are interested in, stuck on, or want to learn. Since people know I'll be live, they can get an answer on the spot or they can come back and read through other people's questions and comments. There are many people who are too shy to ask questions and you never know they are there – this can help these people jump into a conversation or just learn at their own pace in a manner that's comfortable for them.

 

10. Build expertise

In the example I used for Gary's #AskGaryVee series, he's building his expertise by sharing his responses to questions and I'm doing the same with my Q&A's. Is there a unique way that you can help your community, clients, and potential clients by sharing your expertise on a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel?

Create something that's memorable and fun!

One important note is that social media marketing is not for direct selling. You can work on the occasion sales item but social media is a conversation not a sales pitch platform. You can use social media to gather email addresses and then in your newsletter and updates, you will be able to talk more about sales, services, and products.

Social media marketing works but only if you do! Share on X
 
How are you reaching your customers through social media? What brands are inspiring you?
 
 

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12 Comments

  1. PegFitzpatrick jaredeasley I love it. The old ways of doing social media make me sneeze. Permission to chat soon?

  2. Nice article & Presentation.
    We feel that you need to tell customers that you are on social networks. Share your profile links on your website, stationary, email signatures etc
    It is important that you listen to your customers and respond quickly too.

  3. Great slideshow Peg. You made a good point, that direct selling does not lend itself well to social media (even though there are ‘get rich’ courses available that state otherwise). Social media is relationship building and good relationships always take time and effort to cultivate.
    – Cole

  4. Peg, thanks for your suggestions. I am getting success more when I apply your suggestions offline rather online. I have been online since last 16 months and found that here are only sellers without a single buyer. Why? Because online activities are in hands of a bundle of tech savvy westerns especially USA based and they want to befool people of poor and innocent gentry of third world countries.Every one here says put some amount of money into his/her pocket and ,then, follow them like dogs for piece of a bread. This is story of social media online for small businesses. Every one’s eyes are on 180 billions people of Indian-sub continent.
    After following a foolish lady I lost 15 months of precious time of my sunset days. Along with this she gave me bonus of humiliations, disparities and indifferences.
    Now I am trying to apply her “negative energies” against her only. She challenged me on many fronts and I am applying all my creative and “spiritual” energies to block her and her endeavors. Consequently, I have been forced into a battle field ,hitherto, I have views that one can conquer world with “love and peace”. But now I am transformed. I have been transformed to think that “love is a very small thing” and hatred,violence,enemities,disparities and foul plays are much greater than peace and love.
    One year back when my students pursued me to be online, I have great enthusiasm, love and goodwills but all that have been strangulated by that negative headed lady, therefore, now I am in war and there is only one thing in my mind: ” How to save my life and keep on fighting till I defeat my enemies and just not forgive them.
    ” Cowards take shelter of love and goodwill. Strongman either get killed or kill their enemies and get their bread and butter peacefully.

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