Looking for more business? Social media might just be your ticket to more sales and an increase in customers. Here are 10 strategies you can start using today for better results.
1. Start Blogging
Having a business blog can establish you or your company as an expert in your field. If your blog posts are well-written, provide value and are useful, they will drive traffic to both your blog, and then to your site. Read your competitors’ blogs to get ideas about what kind of content works best in your field. Set up a regular schedule of content so that visitors have a reason to come back and read more.
You can write posts on:
- How to use your products
- Industry news
- Your take on trends and news
- Piggyback posts on other blogs (provide your own commentary and link to the post)
- Basic 101 information
- Book reviews
2. Answer Questions
Sites like Quora and Focus give you the opportunity to become better known as an industry expert. People often read through the answers to find experts to consult or otherwise hire, so this can be a great resource for new business.
3. Listen on Social Media
Customers and potential customers are talking about your brand and your competitors’ brands on sites like Twitter and Facebook. By paying attention, you have the opportunity to be there when someone’s looking for a product like yours, or to help if someone has an issue with your product. By publicly addressing customer service issues, you build a level of trust with potential and existing customers.
4. Ask for a Recommendation
Word of mouth has always been an amazing source of new business for many companies. With social tools like Yelp, you can reach even more new business through the recommendation of a few customers. After a transaction, send your customers an email with a link to your Yelp page, and invite them to leave feedback on their experience.
5. Be Everywhere Your Customers are
LinkedIn. Google +. Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest. Blogs. Depending on who your audience is, they’re likely in one or more of these places. It behooves your company to be there too. Keep all your profiles updated and interact directly with visitors to your page.
6. Follow Hashtags
On Twitter, groups of people with common interests use specific hashtags (like #journchat) to connect with likeminded Tweeters. Hashtags are also used for Twitter events. Find hashtags that your customers are using, and participate in the conversation.
7. Get Visual on Pinterest
Pinterest is still new, but we’re seeing brands that have visually appealing products getting great referral traffic back to their sites. Share images that interest your audience, as well as images of your products.
8. Guest Post
Another great way to find customers is to contribute blog content on other blogs. Ask to include a bio and link back to your site; no need to be too self-promotional, but you do want to help readers find you.
9. Offer Ways to Connect
Your website should have icons for all the social channels you participate on. Make it easy for visitors to connect with you on all platforms.
10. Keep Innovating
Social media changes, and new tools are being added each year. Stay on top of trends, and experiment to find the ones that work best for you.
For more ways to find new customers online, please attend our free webinar, Using Social Media to Find New Customers, April 24, 2012, at 2 pm Eastern.
Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She’s written two books: 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and has blogged for several sites, including The Marketing Eggspert Blog, as well as Mashable, Small Business Trends, FutureSimple, andLead411. Follow her on Twitter@eggmarketing.