Thanks to this great invention called the “world wide web”, anything and everything we want can be accessed within milliseconds. Social media continues to grow and evolve and it’s important that your marketing approach does the same.
There are a few adjustments your business can make to survive the age of the Internet and the evolution of social media.
1. Become the industry expert
I’ll admit, I have tried to self-diagnos myself many times on WebMD.
Cough? Headache? Sore throat? I’m dying!
However, I choose to go to my doctors office because she is the industry expert. My doctor has went through the proper schooling and training and has earned the certifications to become a medical doctor. All of that gives her an advantage I don’t have which in turn, forces me to continuously rely on her services.
Whether you’re selling soap or providing a unique service, it is vital that you learn and understand the ins and out of your industry. This means keeping up with trends, attending conferences and webinars, and connecting with others in the field. This allows you to stay ahead of the curve and gives you the knowledge to stay one step above your competitors.
How to utilize the internet: Share a monthly tip for your customers/clients. (i.e. If you’re a doctor create a health tip of the month to share with your patients.)
2. Bring value to your work
This goes back to an old post I wrote about customer retention. Your customers should feel you value their business. How do you show that? First, you have to genuinely care about the customer experience.
From the first time a customer begins to engage with your business, to the time they complete a purchase and receive your product, you should be creating a unique customer experience. Many businesses send an email throughout the purchase process which is what people expect. But have you thought about thinking outside the box? What about personalized text messages? Or Facebook messages from your business page? When you find new innovative ways to engage with your customers, you make your business memorable and it allows you to stand out.
How to utilize the internet: See 3 ways to increase customer retention.
3. Support your communities
As exciting as it may be to sit at your desk for 8 hours a day, it is important that you get involved with your local community.
Get out and join a local nonprofit, sit on a board of directors, or volunteer your time with a local organization. This is a great way to get your brand name out there as well as show that you care about the communities you do business in.
It’s one thing to say you care, but getting out there will show your customers that you care about them beyond the products and services they purchase from you.
How to utilize the internet for social good: Send a shout out to your favorite community partners and share photos when you volunteer with them.
4. Find social influencers
Have you ever posted your favorite brand to social media and encouraged your friends to try it out? Then you my friend are what is called a “social media influencer.” From those of us who only have a few hundred followers, to the big time influencers with thousands, essentially you are advertising these brands for free.
If you notice you have a repeat customer, or a person who attends every event, or watches every Facebook Live video, why not ask them to be a brand ambassador? They’re already doing the work, would it kill you to give them free stuff from time to time? Or give them a code for 10-20% off when they shop with you? You can even take it as far as giving them commission for every customer they bring your way.
How to find brand ambassadors: Find out who your repeat customers are and give them incentives for supporting your business.
5. Create better advertisements
I’m sure you remember in my post ‘To Boost or Not to Boost‘ we talked about what you should do before putting dollars behind a Facebook post. We focused on the strategy of boosting, but maybe it’s your content that needs improvement.
Is your post too wordy? Is your picture blurry? Are you taking me to your external website that is still under construction? Remember, we talked about outsourcing before. Don’t hesitate to find an expert before you invest in ads.
6. Be consistent
If you’re only posting once a month, you can’t expect to grow your brand online. Create a content calendar and remain consistent with posting.
How to remain consistent: plan ahead.
Bringing value to your work is all about showing your customer why they need you. Are you the industry expert? Do they always have an exceptional customer experience with you? Do you care about the community you work in? If you can’t answer yes to those questions then it may be time to revisit your business plan and set new goals and objectives.