People don't trust you. Why should they bother spending the time to seek you out if they have no idea that whether you offer is worthy of their time and money? They may know your name and what you are selling, but that is the extent of their knowledge if you don't spend time working on getting them to consider you the go-to source when they are in need. How can you do this? You can greatly increase your customer loyalty factor by utilizing social media. The trick is to combine old-school social media concepts with the newer abilities they give you. Let's explore how this works.
The 80/20 Percent Rule
This is a rule that has been around for years—yet many marketers ignore it. Without this one, all your efforts will be in vain. Customers want to know who is behind the products and services they spend their money on. They quickly tire of seeing nothing but ads on an account. This is why only 20% of your social media posts should be promotional. In the case of advertising, more is definitely not better. Customers want to know what they will get out of the relationship.
For the 80% of posts that are not promotional, you need to give them content they find interesting, informative, and even entertaining. This is even better if it is something shareable. The point is to make your followers know they are important to you and you want them to be the one who benefits from dealing with you.
Start With the Tried and True
There are some strategies that have proven to be winners, and you can start your social media efforts by including them in your strategy. These include creating a community and showing gratitude to your customers and potential customers. Think about when business was always done in a brick-and-mortar location. The people who ran these stores made a point of getting to know their regular customers. They kept in mind the things like birthdays, marriages, and a new baby. This is what community is about. You need to create an environment where there is a give and take between you and your followers. This includes discussions that may start with a question. It includes allowing followers to become active in posting and asking questions. Take time to contact individuals privately, thank people publicly, and treat your social media account as though it were a small town store.
Utilize the New
One of the best examples of using something new to connect with your customers is Facebook's live streaming capability. Providing a live stream on a regular basis allows your followers to interact with you in real time. It shows them you are human, you aren't perfect, and you care enough to interact with them. The more indicators a person has of your humanness, the more likely they are to start developing the trust you need to gain their business. Use these streams to cover things related to your business that adds value to the products or services you sell. Don't turn them into big infomercials.
Another way to help build trust is to take a stand. We aren't talking about something that could alienate a good portion of your potential customers. You may want to avoid politics or religion unless your goods or service revolve around them. However, society is getting more invested in things like saving the planet, animal rights, and veteran affairs. Show followers your commitment to making the world better in some way and you show yourself as a person who cares about things other than making a sale. Show you have compassion and are willing to stand up for what is right. This builds trust in you as a human and, by proxy, your business.
The old-school traits of trust and loyalty are more important than ever in running a successful business. People are not going to trust you simply because you tell them you are a person who is good and honest—you need to show them with your actions. When the whole world is your selling ground, the easiest way to build and gain that trust is by going where the people are. In this case, social media brings you to the forefront, gives you a chance to connect with others on a more personal basis, and allows customers and potential customers to get the best possible impression of you and your brand. When done correctly, this can put you ahead of the competition. Neglecting what seems like a basic, minor detail may put you in the position of never being able to regain the trust you have built up. Don't get left standing in the dust of your competitors when utilizing social media makes it so easy to succeed.