As a business owner, you can’t afford not to be visible on the Social Media platforms. Even if you are not social media savvy, you should find a way to ensure you give your business the visibility it deserves on these platforms. One key reason is because Social Media platforms give you an opportunity to engage with your customers. The interesting thing is that your customers can become raving brand ambassadors if they are satisfied with your services.
This posts will show you how to can turn your customers into your brand ambassadors.
a. Have a working strategy
The first step is to ensuring that your website includes the links to your Social Media accounts. This is one way to let your customers and visitors to your website know that you are available on the Social Media platforms. Next step is to ensure that you are there. Being on social media means being there, not just including a link on your website. To a traditional marketer assigned to a profile page, any negative comment or complaint on social media is not good for business and must be addressed. You need to see this as an opportunity to turn an angry customer into an ambassador. So how do complaints or angry comments on a Facebook wall look without attention? They have an impact on brand perception and the people who read them.
b. Get your tools right
Once you have identified how social media integrates into your business strategy, you need the right tools – not vice versa. If you have not established your objective for going social, it is difficult to identify the right tools. When you approach social media haphazardly, it is easy to be thrown in different directions. Just as several platforms exist, so do tools to simplify the process.
You need social listening tools to identify mentions of your brand and engagement tools to communicate with your target audience. Lastly, you will need analytic tools to track, measure and analyse outcomes.
c. Who speaks for the brand?
Whatever technology can replace, it will eventually do; especially because of cost and predictability of outcomes. Tools will deliver service but only the right kind of people will deliver a service experience. Getting the right kind of person to manage your brand online is a big deal. This is why many businesses invest on getting great Social Media manager.
People interacting with brands online expect the brand to be friendly, unofficial and yet respectable – it is definitely not for an unsupervised intern. The content managers, online strategist and people who manage the brands online must understand the character of the brand as well as tact, especially when they are dealing with a large youth market who will fight back, sometimes anonymously.
d. Handshake across departments
The time has gone when only marketing departments used to own social media channels, Most of the interactions between brands and people on social media are issue-related. You therefore need to develop teams across several disciplines to handle integration into social media – Marketing, Corporate Communications, Human Resource, and Legal. Some organizations even include their engineering team as part of the Social Media team.
e. Measure and Control
Of all the benefits of digital marketing and social media, this seems the most attractive and difficult. Attractive because you can now measure the impact of all your efforts – tweets, hashtag tracking, fans, followers, analytics. This can make it easy for you to push your paid brand ambassadors to justify their costs. You can also track how many people visited sites as against newspaper ads and fliers which once printed, you can only have an estimated projection.
It therefore presents an opportunity to measure your efforts and tweak them in order to find the best method and tools that help interact with your audience in a profitable way.
f. Prepare for crisis
While the Social Media platforms give you the power to engage with your customers, you cannot afford to mess with the unsatisfied customers. Since social media is an emerging terrain, expect a few skirmishes, from mis-tweets to insults, and some will even try to pick a fight. You need to prepare for all these. Having a scenario mapping or crisis plan will save you a lot of time and money.
One important fear for brands is opening up your business to seemingly faceless people. Rather than being incapacitated by fear, you can set up a process that helps mitigate potential problems and transforms challenges into brand building opportunities.
What are you doing today to turn your customers into brand ambassadors?
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