Follow digital footprints to learn more about your audiencesWhen you log onto social media each day, you’re presented with information about what happened while you were gone.
You see Chris just Snapchatted his pizza and that Holly is live tweeting interior design tips from an industry conference. You were also served an ad from your local clothing boutique about their winter clearance sale. These are your digital footprints. You chose to follow particular people or businesses because of the products they sell or the knowledge they provide. How you interact with those people online leaves even more footprints. You can use these social footprints to help understand the right — and wrong — customers for your business.
Use social media to drive revenue and brand awarenessWhile many companies initially use social media to help with branding, it’s time to think of it as a way to increase revenue and reach leads. After all, each of your prospects is most likely on at least one social media channel. Learning more about which platforms they use and how they use them will help you engage with them in a new way. Let's say you own a coffee shop. At a minimum, you should be checking in to see who is engaging with your brand, interacting with those who are talking to/about you and studying what the overall sentiment is about your products. It's also key to look at what your competitors are saying and doing on each platform so you can stay competitive and relevant.
Know how your customers are searching for your businessWhat are the keywords your customers use to find you? Are they mentioning you without tagging your profile? How are your customers and leads interacting with your competitors? If your competitors are showing up in your search, take note. If your competitors dominate the conversation locally, engage to start getting noticed. As you’re searching keywords, you’ll start to see leaders in the conversation. These are your leads. They left you footprints. Follow them to see what else they’re interested in, which of your products might fit their lifestyle and how you can potentially turn them into your paying customers. Reach out to them when the moment is right. It's important that you pick the right channels. Who your leads are on Instagram will be different from who your leads are on LinkedIn. How you interact with them will be, too. Sharing a GIF on LinkedIn won’t get as much traction and won’t resonate with your audience the same way as it will on Twitter. There may be channels where you won't have any leads at all; those are not right for your business.
Make sure leads have a positive experience with you onlineIt's important that your business provides a positive experience to customers and leads as you interact with them on social media.
- Engage back with those engaging with you (yes, even those who are negatively engaging with you). This sounds like a no brainer, but in a fast moving environment, it’s easy to forget.
- Provide helpful customer service. If your audience (and beyond) see you as resourceful and helpful, they’re more likely to consider you.
- Answer relevant questions to establish your brand as a thought leader – even if you weren’t initially in the conversation. Some of the most memorable conversations online are when businesses take the opportunity to jump on a lead who is displeased with one of their competitors.