In this day and age, many people think social media is the hottest, best place to promote your brand. And while platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus are fantastic touchpoints to grab new customers – they are all rented property.
What do I mean by rented property?
Well, think of renting an apartment. It’s owned by your landlord, who collects your rent, handles all the maintenance, and pretty much dictates what goes on within that apartment. Sure you have some say as to what goes up on the walls, but your landlord ultimately has control of the place.
The same is true for all the great social media marketing platforms out there. Any small change by the almighty Facebook and 50% of your engagement could go down the drain. Any platform tweaks by Twitter and certain people or certain customers might not see your posts anymore. Any of these platforms could completely change your business overnight. So what can you do about it?
Well, you can find the perfect “house”, and well – own it!
Now your business could have several different reasons for having a website: lead generation, information, e-commerce, customer service. Whatever the purpose, you need to find out how to ‘own’ your audience.
Let’s use lead generation as an example. If your company’s goal is to generate leads and turn them into prospective customers, email is probably your best bet. See if somebody gives you their email address that’s a direct connection to them virtually whenever you want – unlike social media where you’re at the helm of the platform as to who sees your content.
Now obviously they can opt-out or unsubscribe at any time, but as long as you keep their attention their going to see your stuff. You might be thinking email marketing is dead due to spam and other digital resources, but the opposite is true. Spam filters are so advanced now and social media is becoming so saturated, that more people are using email to get the content that they want.
So how do you find out how to own your audience? Well, there are three steps that we recommend.
1. Engage them better than your competitors.
In order to stick out from the competition and keep your customers satisfied, you need to open up the conversation and keep it going way better than your competitors. it’s the birthday card trick – companies don’t send you those cards in the mail because they like paying postage. They do it because it engages you to think of them. Just be authentic and talk to your clients and potential customers. They will love you for it
2. Get a direct line of communication.
Once you earn the trust of your customers they will feel much more comfortable giving you their email address or even their phone number. It might take a while, but it’s totally worth the effort in engagement when somebody gives you their email address and says “please send me your stuff I love it”
3. Give them more value than they are paying for.
Over delivery is one of the best ways to spread an idea virally, and increase customer loyalty. Giving away free things when somebody places in order is a great way to surprise them at the checkout. If you’re shipping a product stick a couple of added bonuses in the box that customers are surprised to get when they open it. When somebody calls in and discusses a problem with your product have customer service do something extraordinary for them.
There are thousands of places to engage your customers and millions of ways to do it. But one of the most important things you can do to grow your business is to make sure that you own your audience. Don’t let another company dictate what happens to your business, find a direct connection with your customers engage with them provide added value, and keep customers for life!