Your client profile is not complete until you know which social media platforms your clients like use to communicate and how often they use those platforms.
Share too much or too often and you lose them. Share too little or every blue moon, and your voice gets lost.
There is a fine balanced line between informing or sharing and bombarding and overselling. You have to communicate often enough that you remain top of mind, and your message needs to be timely, informative and useful.
Do you know the social media tools of your trade? Where are your clients mingling, sharing and searching for information on products and services you provide? Do you need to respond with succinct messages, powerful images, or direct contact?
Despite Facebook’s market share, popularity and war chest, not everyone is using it. It can be great for galleries, not so great for cabinetmakers. Who looks for custom cabinetmakers on Facebook? It can be great for community centers, not so great for dentists.
Many small business owners are spending a lot of money on Facebook ads and fancy Facebook Pages and wondering why they are not seeing results. Nine times out of 10, the results are lacking because their clients don’t use Facebook to interact or search for information on the product or service they provide.
Remember, marketing messages need to speak to your ideal client. If your client isn’t on Facebook, how can they hear you?
If you have a service-based business, you can pepper your tweets with tips, messaging, and information related to your industry, profession, and business. You can search Twitter for conversations on topics that interest your client base and join in.
With well-balanced Twitter activity, you can establish your expertise, develop a following, increase your brand exposure, and discover trends in your industry. Twitter is also good source to encourage and support your colleagues. Many collaborations have been birthed on Twitter.
I founded a BlogTalkRadio show with three women whom I’ve never met in person, but met and grew to know via Twitter. We had a great time doing the show, and we helped a lot of people.
If your business requires you to entice your clients with imagery (e.g., bakery, photographer, artists, restaurants, real estate, etc.), Instagram may prove to be more effective in communicating with clients and leads. The images must speak for themselves.
Hashtags help clients find your images and information. However, they should be used sparingly and must speak to the subject matter. One hashtag could be the subject of multiple and vastly different conversations. Search your hashtags first to help you clarify your references.
Creators, curators, and purveyors of fashion, stylists, salons, fine crafts, furniture, etc. will find Pinterest to be quite useful for inspiring trends and showcasing their personalities or cultures. Non-profits with a well defined cause and campaign might find Pinterest to be practical for sharing their compelling stories with images. In addition, magazines and schools may find Pinterest to be the perfect hub for their followers/readers.
Don’t let the adoption of social media fool you. Email marketing is still an essential marketing tool for every business type. You are speaking directly to your market, and your message should resonate with their concerns and interests.
Whether it is a monthly newsletter, a new podcast, a well-timed special, a new product/service, etc,. email marketing is your opportunity to get their undivided attention and have them focus on you. They have given you permission to contact them and share something of interest with them. Even with all the other chatter coming through their email, they are saying they want to hear from you. Don’t squander it.
LinkedIn is considered the social media site for executives, professionals, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. It is a place where connections are made, referrals are shared, and relationships are cultivated.
LinkedIn is for community building, in-depth conversations, and fleshed out topics. Business-to-business relationships are fostered. Job openings are filled. Alumni are supported. If your client base is reflected in any of these scenarios, you may want to spend a little time learning how to use LinkedIn more effectively.
Honorable mention, Angie’s List
Although Angie’s List is not necessarily a social media site, it is an effective source for many services and products related to the home (e.g., plumbing, electric, contractors, carpenters, pool service, etc.) You wouldn’t search Twitter or Instagram for a reputable plumber. A well drafted and timely email marketing campaign combined with ad placement on Angie’s List could be constructive.
For the Offline Client
There are clients in every industry that don’t care for social media at all and prefer face-to-face and/or phone calls. Rare, but they exist. Please don’t disregard them. They are just as important as your other clients, maybe even more so.
The extra time and attention you give them by meeting face-to-face or checking in via phone, goes a lot further than any social media campaign or activity. Why? Because it’s personal. It’s as personal as you can get. Not only have you taken time out of your schedule, but you are giving them undivided attention and they are doing the same.
Flip through your Rolodex and think about the handful of clients who don’t use social media or prefer you call them, instead of emailing them. Rather than being frustrated because they require a little more time and attention, think about how you can enhance their client experience even more. I can assure you, those clients may be your best allies.