The term “social media marketing” can be very misleading, because it gives the connotation that it’s strictly for selling something. However, social media marketing is more than just promotion! Social media marketing can help you with customer retention, lower your administrative costs and manage your online reputation. Let’s take a look at how you can do this.
Have you ever heard the saying that it’s cheaper to keep a happy customer, rather than find a new one? Think about it! If you lost a paying customer, what would it take to find one to replace him or her? It takes advertising and marketing, people answering phones or making outbound calls, possibly free samples to attract interest. In short, this costs money to only break even, since you need two new customers to grow.
When you consider that most times the reason for losing a customer is either a misunderstanding or tardy response to an inquiry, but what if you had a robust questions-and-answers page, with downloadable resources that was promoted via social media? What if when you received an inquiry and provided a response, you took that response and shared it through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ for all to see? Not only would it deliver the answer to anyone else who may have the same question, it shows caring and forward thinking – providing a solution before asked!
Now, what would happen to your customer service department if answers were being posted and delivered, eliminating the need to speak with someone on the phone? You would need fewer representatives putting out fires. Those are assets that can be reallocated for higher productivity and lowers cost by not needing to hire as many employees. And, let’s not forget the GOOD PR this garners you.
Staying with the example above, if a customer feels valued and connected, finding the help they need to best use your product or service, why would they look elsewhere? When using this approach it gives you two HUGE benefits:
• It builds trust! When they see they can count on your company to deliver, they trust you.
• You can make suggestions on how your product could be used for higher productivity and value, positioning your company for up-sales.
Taking a proactive approach will keep you ahead of your competition and, while the goal may have been customer retention and lower administrative costs, it still contributes to sales! Not only by the up-sales that can occur, but the legacy it creates, which your sales team will use as one of the benefits of doing business with your company.
If you don’t know what is being said about you, you cannot capitalize on it nor defend against it. If people are saying good things about you, you want to know about it and publicly acknowledge it and thank them. It shows graciousness (which is in short supply these days) and puts the positive out in the open for everyone to see. Moreover, the things they say can also lead to new research and development.
If something bad is said, it allows you a rapid response to quash any negatives. And, once a negative is out there, it will never disappear, but a steady social media campaign will help to push it down where no one will find it.
Good ways of doing this are with Google Alerts and setting all your social media accounts’ notice settings to inform you whenever you are mentioned or tagged by anyone.
So if you thought social media was nothing more than just selling, you’ve been missing about two-thirds of the value it offers to help grow, sustain and protect your business. And in this economy, this is as priceless as MasterCard!