Customers need to identify with a business on an emotional level before they are in a position to buy. They need to feel that the business is adding value to their life.
It can be quite common for businesses to never meet their customers face to face in the digital world that many of us conduct business in today.
How then do businesses build strong, meaningful relationships with their customers online?
Does your business have personality?
From personal observation, it is clear that some business owners do not place enough value on their interactions with others on social networks. Their activity isn’t always towards communicating the personality behind their business, or genuinely trying to build a relationship with their existing and prospective customers. They simply use it as an advertising platform.
Whilst there are many who use social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn to build relationships, contribute to discussion topics and start dialogues with others, there are business owners who subscribe to the ‘If I post enough adverts, someone is bound to click and buy’ approach.
In a world where customers demand transparency from business, and want to build some degree of a relationship with a company before buying, the above approach simply doesn’t work.
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Customers, both existing and prospective will be following you on Twitter, checking out your Facebook page or connecting with you on LinkedIn, and this gives you, as a business owner, a fantastic opportunity to connect with your customers and communicate the personality behind your business.
Do your customers really ‘know’ you?
‘As a small business, one of the worst things you can do is hide behind the company name and become a faceless brand’ – David Arthur
Many customers like to feel that they know the company that they are buying their goods or services from, and as a small business owner, the opportunity to interact personally with your customers is huge!
As an example, Twitter has over 500,000,000 active users, sending between them 340,000,000 tweets a day. You need to stand out in the way you use your social media platforms so that your business gets noticed, for the right reasons!
You need your customers to be able to engage emotionally with your business, and feel that every time you interact with them, you are seeking to add some value to their life.
Why not congratulate someone you follow on Twitter for an award they have won?
Why not send the link to a fantastic video you have seen to your customers or connections and add some value to their day.
By doing things slightly differently, taking a ‘value adding’ approach to your digital marketing, you will increase your customer engagement and this will ultimately lead to more repeat business, recommendations and customer satisfaction.
I cannot stress enough the important of being ‘social’ when it comes to implementing your social media strategy.
About the Author:
Since April 2010, David has been involved in the small business sector, supporting small businesses in and around London in his capacity working for an international FTSE100 company.
He is passionate about small business, and launched in November 2012 to share advice, observations and opinions relevant to the international SME community.