From Henry V to Winston Churchill, every great king or leader has, in times of battle, had to inspire his army and general public to support the cause. It makes perfect sense- outreach and communication provide perspective, clarify intention, and lower the barrier between king and country.
In a business sense, engaging your customer is easier than ever thanks to social media. Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets have lowered the wall between industry and the general public, and make no mistake, consumers crave it. So, if you’re serious about winning on the digital battlefield, establishing an active social media strategy is a pivotal step both in terms of growth and reputation.
If your business is not already trending on the Twitter-verse, here are some keys to establishing and maintaining your social media presence.
Don’t hide in the castle and pretend the battle isn’t occurring, confront your public
It may seem obvious, but the first step to developing a social media strategy is participation. It’s important to understand that business social media pages don’t serve the same purpose as personal pages. Rather than political posts and pictures of last night’s lasagna, your business social media page is an opportunity to maintain a steady stream of information, promotional material, and industry-relevant updates that your followers can engage with. This level of to-the-minute contact with your consumer pool was a dream twenty years now, but social media has allowed you to reach a broader audience more often, and with more impact. Keeping a medium to high activity level will ultimately help you gain the attention of potential clients, and increase overall awareness of your brand.
Battle can bring joy and sorrow, and it’s important to listen to and answer both
Consumer feedback, both positive and negative, is a benefit of social media and one that you should embrace. Satisfied customers on social media are a great cost-free marketing tool for your business. Using social media, it’s easy for a happy customer to leave glowing praise that other potential customers will see, and have a positive reaction to. In return, it’s easy to occasionally thank one or several of your promoter customers for the positive feedback. Customers love to hear thank you, and reaching out to show your appreciation will build customer loyalty, and look great to prospects.
On the other hand, sometimes your business may fall short, and social media does open the door for constructive or critical feedback as well. Don’t hide from the negative- it’s important to address it, let the customer know you’re sorry for their difficulties, and offer a solution if applicable. Facing shortfalls humanizes your business, and shows you care about customer experience, and are willing to adapt and improve when necessary.
Once you get in touch with your public, don’t surrender their ear to your competitors
During World War II, FDR did weekly fireside chats. He knew that keeping the confidence of his public required regular contact. Social media is no different, once you’re in, commit to staying in. Keep your page active and up-to-date. Make no mistake, your competitors are probably active social platforms, and if you aren’t talking, your client will listen to whoever is.