By Mark Montini of m2M Strategies
Before you start focusing your resources on building likes, followers, and other social media engagement metrics, you need to ask yourself if it even makes sense for your business. That means asking yourself two questions about two critical components of your existing marketing.
(Photo courtesy of Mark Montini)
First, are you delivering a world-class customer experience?
This is really no different than how people approach interpersonal relationships. You like people with whom you have a great experience. You forget people with whom you have an average experience. You scoff at people with whom you have had a bad experience and, in some cases, even tell other people about your experience. The world of social media is no different. Deliver a great experience and your customers will be inclined to like, follow and share. Deliver an average or bad experience and you’ll not only find it difficult to get social media likes, followers and shares, but you’ll also struggle growing your business.
Second, do you already have all the marketing essentials in place?
Social media is the hottest topic in marketing these days. So much so that many small business owners, unfortunately, ignore proven marketing essentials like lead generation, lead conversion, customer retention and online reputation to chase after likes, followers and shares. The marketing essentials serve as the foundation for a profitable business. Without them, you’ll struggle to achieve the success you envisioned for your business – even if you have thousands of “friends.” Be sure your business has all the marketing essentials in place before you invest a lot of time and money in supplementary tactics like social media.
If you’re able to answer “yes” to both of the questions above, here are five simple tips you can use to drive likes, followers, shares and all kinds of other social media metrics.
Tip #1: Ask
It’s simple, but something many businesses overlook. The #1 reason customers won’t like, follow and share your business is because you don’t ask. Put up a few signs in your store. Add a request to the footer to your personal emails. Train your team to ask customers. Give customers “Like Us on Facebook” cards. There are countless ways you can ask your customers to engage with you on social media and the more you leverage, the more engagement you’ll get.
Tip #2: Provide Value
For a consumer, engaging with a business on social media ultimately means investing their relationship capital in that business. When they like you on Facebook, they know their friends will see it. When they follow you on Twitter, they are giving you authorization to take at least a few seconds of their day, potentially every day. The more value you provide, the more likely they are to invest. Discounts tend to be what most small business owners think of when they read “offer value” but it’s more than that. You can offer value through informative content, creative ideas, practical tips, humorous anecdotes, thought-provoking questions, and much more. The key is to understand constantly promoting your products and services does NOT add value.
Tip #3: Run A Contest
Most people love a good contest. Even more people love to have their voices heard. So, try running a contest where you invite customers to post something as part of a contest and then invite them – and their “friends” – to pick the winner by liking the post. Some examples are Jack-O’-Lantern contests around Halloween. Have people (maybe even your employees) post a photo of their Jack-O’-Lantern and then invite people to vote by liking their favorite. Another effective approach is to ask for crazy pictures like “Your worst hairstyle ever.” The options are limited only by your imagination. Just have fun!
Tip #4: Leverage Your Personal Page
This one’s pretty easy. Just promote your business profile on your personal page and ask your “friends” to like your business. It’s simple, but your “friends” who are really friends will be quick to help you out.
Tip #5: Run An Ad Campaign
If likes are really important to you, you can consider running Facebook ads asking people to “like” you. In the big scheme of things it’s not that expensive and Facebook has a number of advertising options that work for this. If you’re against paying for likes, it probably means they really aren’t that important anyway and you should shift your attention to other areas of marketing and your business overall.
Mark Montini is the Chief Results Officer at m2M Strategies, an Atlanta-based franchise marketing firm that specializes in strategically integrating technology, marketing, and data to grow their clients’ bottom line. Known for his ability to architect fully-integrated distributed marketing programs, Mark has helped franchises, Fortune 500 companies, startups, non-profits, and even political organizations increase revenue. His work has been featured in newspapers across the country including the New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today.
The views, opinions and positions expressed within this guest post are those of the authors alone and do not represent those of CBS Small Business Pulse or the CBS Corporation. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are verified solely by the authors.