Entrepreneurs after fast growth are looking for ways to communicate with clients, prospects and colleagues on social media.
In this post, I’ll take you through six easy and effective ways: connect and network, provide customer service, market new products and services, manage your reputation, demonstrate your expertise, and increase customer’s loyalty.
#1: Connect and Network
As one of the forerunners in the social networking world, LinkedIn has been a great platform for professional networking and a powerful source for entrepreneurs.
As Lewis Howes coauthor of LinkedWorking suggests, fill out all current and past work experiences, join targeted groups, create a targeted group, send personal invites to help make a good first impression and update your profile on a regular basis. And, don’t forget the importance of getting endorsements and recommendations; they will help prospective clients hear about your strengths and the valuable stories people who have worked with you can share on your behalf.
#2: Provide Customer Service
When Jenna Goudreau shared social media tricks that every entrepreneur should know she included one that often is often overlooked—social media as a way to provide customer service.
Zappos, is an example of a company that has been successful using social media to handle customer service issues. Customers know that they can post a comment or question on the Zappos Facebook page or Twitter profile and that they’ll not only receive a timely response but also a satisfactory resolution. If a company the size of Zappos can do it, then there’s no reason why entrepreneurs can’t make this work for them. You may want to include a link to your social pages on your web contact form indicating that they reach you via the form and/or by posting comments on your social pages.
#3: Market New Products and Services
Lee Odden suggests that social content for marketing often starts with a blog where new business owners can share the story of their product and how it solves important problems in the marketplace. A blog can serve as a communication channel with other blogs in the industry, the media, customers and a community.
An example of this can be seen on Josh Dickinson’s blog for his business, Physique Essentials, whose mission is to teach people how to train, eat and live. In one of his articles, Josh writes about the true cost of optimal results. He helps readers see the ways that setting short and long term goals can help them keep their end prize in sight and ways to move towards true success. He lists twelve features of commitment and effort. His post educates and shows how a service such as his can lead to a healthier life without hitting the reader over the head with messages like “sign-up for my services now.” Rather this approach engages readers and piques their interest to learn more.
#4: Manage your Reputation
Mike Michalowicz polled 98 entrepreneurs to hear about the ways they use social media. What you’ll find in the list is undoubtedly a wide perspective on the big and small ways that social media has made a difference in the lives of these business people.
Janet Boulter of Center Group suggested, “using social media to build and manage your reputation.” In a social world where people can offer reviews and comments about a business that will be seen by countless people, this has become one of the most essential functions of social media.
I came across a story which demonstrates the point quite well. Written by blogger Eric Melin, he shares a case study on his company’s blog about a brewery his firm helped with a campaign and the events that led to negative feedback about the product shared on social media channels. The video published on YouTube, was recorded with John McDonald, Boulevard Brewery Company’s founder and president, and addressed customer’s concerns. The video was successful in managing the company’s reputation.
While we won’t take the time now to go into the other 93 ways Mike shares in his article, it’s a good reference to check out when you find yourself questioning, how can social media improve entrepreneurship.
#5: Demonstrate Areas of Expertise
Many entrepreneurs have become enamored with videos as a way to talk directly to visitors and demonstrate their specialties and areas of interests. For example, I’ve created and posted a number of videos on YouTube that range in time from 3:37 to the longest one being 13:38.
As James Wedmore writes, “One thing you have control over is how your videos are optimized for search. When you know exactly what your audience is searching for, you can place your videos to rank higher in search results.”
James suggests that entrepreneurs take the time to identify your keywords to see how many a searches a word or phrase is getting each month and if you’re a local business owner even using your own city’s name in the phrase.
He also recommends creating your video around your keywords and relevant to the prospective keywords. You’ll also want to make sure that you optimize the title, description and tag fields.
You can see in the image below that my videos are titled around areas that my clients are interested in e.g. business growth, invoice marketing, sales training, leadership and business owner. Videos are an excellent way for entrepreneurs to stand out in their field.
#6: Increase Customer’s Loyalty
In 140 characters or less, and literally no time at all, you can use Twitter to communicate on a regular basis with people who follow you. The catch of course is that you need to be tweeting valuable content. Lewis Howes offers ways to categorize content for Twitter:
- answer questions
- link to articles
- post pictures of unusual things you’ve seen
- share wisdom from a book you’re reading
- pass along interesting advertising campaigns
- discuss fun purchases that you’ve recently made
- share quotes that teach about innovation and leadership
- tweet about your professional and personal life
- tell followers about mistakes and lessons learned
- let followers know some personal news about some of the big events in your life e.g. weddings, births.
What are some of the ways you’ve been using social media to engage with your clients and prospects? Share your comments in the space below.