As a business owner or manager, getting to know your customers is crucial to your success. People do business with people they like and trust and the internet has created an environment where the consumer demands value from the seller.
Hopping away from the internet, I want to share a quick quote from our founder that I think will put this blog into perspective:
“I used to go to a local coffee shop to work every morning because I wanted to support local businesses. The problem was, they never knew my name and I felt like no one wanted to talk to me. A friend told me to try Starbucks, so I went and the employees got to know my name, some things about me, and even throw in a free drink sometimes. I feel important when I go there.”
-Matt Rutkovitz, SurgeCurve
Ironically enough, this is how I met Matt. I am a full-time student who works at
Starbucks and he’s a regular. In the Starbucks culture, not only is it in my job description to learn about our customers, but it’s in my nature. We are encouraged to know their drinks, maybe a few interests, but most importantly to make them feel special in the few moments that we share together.
When Matt shared that he felt important when visiting the store, I realized that a lot of the regular customers we see every day (rain or shine) probably feel the same way. For some, I might be the first face they see in the morning and I have the opportunity to make a huge impact on their day. If they have a positive customer experience, they’re going to keep coming back. Treating customers like they’re a transaction is not how you’re going to earn business online or offline.
Now, weren’t we talking about social media? The reason why Matt hired me was because he wanted me to create the same face-to-face Starbucks experience for SurgeCurve's social media. So below are five tips for you to re-create a personalized experience for your customers:
1. Post Pictures
Posting pictures not only gets the customer looking at your page more frequently, but it sparks interest and shows them that YOU care. Have you ever visited the Facebook page of a business and saw nothing? You most likely clicked away and were disappointed there wasn’t more exciting information to learn from.
Another rule of thumb is to post high quality material. Make sure that you are taking high quality photos, or using high quality images from the internet because appearance makes a difference in the customer’s perception of quality. Unlike books, people usually judge you by the first glance of your website and digital presence.
Lastly, don’t post just to post. Post frequently, but not to the effect of being “annoying” and ineffective. They say pictures are worth a thousand words, so posting different versions of the same thing isn’t going to help draw business to your page. In fact, it might even deter people which is what you don’t want. Start posting 1-2 times a week. A single video or picture with a caption is a great start.
2. Make Engaging Posts
Engaging the customer is a sure fire way to get people talking on your social media platforms. According to a survey done by the Huffington Post, a whopping 91% of non-engaged customers leave because of non-engagement. This means there is a huge opportunity to make the customer feel valued.
Post questions like “where is everyone’s favorite spot in Tampa to get Burgers?” or “which beach is the best in Tampa Bay?” Polling your customers and page visitors will get them engaged. More engagement, more sales.. Finally,Steer away from anything political or controversial. You don’t want people attacking each other in conversations on the business Facebook.
3. Share content that is relevant to the customer
Knowing your target audience is one of the most important things you should know as a business owner or manager. This will help you to generate content best aimed toward your client. Again, don’t just post to make a post. Filter out the things that your customer doesn’t want or need.
If you’re in the technology industry, share things that are technology savvy. Share tech blogs or new technology releases. Show the customer that you’re staying relevant and that you’re not falling behind. This one is HUGE. Make sure you show that you know your industry inside and out.
4. Don’t be afraid to interact with the customer
When someone follows you or accepts a friend request, make it known that your business appreciate the add! Invite them to visit the company page and explore your videos, blogs, bios, and to check out your other social media platforms. To the customer, this will show that their visit meant something and gives them that feeling of value.
Be active on liking things or retweeting interesting posts. The more your company name shows up on people’s feeds, the more your name will be seen. Don’t be afraid of wishing a customer happy birthday from the team or giving them words of encouragement when they’re down. These are things that they will remember.
5. Post video
According to entrepreneur and marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk, if you don’t have a marketing strategy with the biggest video platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), you are going to lose. Video gives you the ability to reach new audiences and give them the information they yearn.
With video, we are able to give a customer a sense of who we are, while at the same time getting a sense of who they are. This business-to-client intimacy is where we are able to create that same sense of importance and value for the client.
According to a McKinsey survey, 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. This means that we need to treat all existing and potential customers we meet with dignity, respect, and genuity.
We live in a world where we might not be able to connect with people face to face 24/7, but we do have the capability to have these meetings with the power of video and social media...anytime, anywhere. People in different cities, states, countries, and time zones are all able to be connected through social media. As business people, we can make these genuine connections and provide them with useful content wherever we are and keep our customers satisfied.