Acquisition seems to always be on the mind of the modern day marketer, and rightfully so. You need to acquire customers. Your prime directive is to gain awareness and create a constant stream, or in some cases an influx, of leads for your business.
But what happens when a new platform arises that gives you a different opportunity? You see people executing their very human ingrained behavior: the tendency to approach new things with old understandings.
Twitter comes out and people immediately start screaming about their products. Facebook starts to become integrated with web marketing and all brands want to do is post commercials.
I don’t like beating dead horses, so I’m not going to go into how you should “engage” and “build relationships,” because at this point, anything I’d say would do you no good if you didn’t already know that.
But I will say this. Perhaps using social media in a very different way could create some really positive benefits for your business that at the end of the day, are monetary. Enter retention.
To me, the new world is all about retention. People are very tight on one thing (money) which means they’re going to be extremely selective as to who they’re giving their money to.
Social technologies allow something to happen that’s never been possible before: a way for customers to actually “get to know you” as a brand, before they make buying decisions. They get to feel you out, to learn your personality and to establish an emotional association.
Our job as SEO & social marketers, or as social search Engine optimization Experts, is to recognize the opportunity and capitalize on it. We have to pounce on the opportunity to build trust with people before they make buying decisions with us, so that we’re in their minds when they their in need of the services we provide, and so after we serve them they want to continue to call upon us because we’ve built something deeper than just a transaction.
I have an iphone repair company in the Lehigh Valley (PA), and the majority of the propulsion system for us in the startup phase was 95% Twitter. Our first 3 business clients came from Twitter. Our next 3 service calls came from Twitter and now we’ve created such a firestorm of word of mouth, that the leads just keep coming in weekly.
So, I want to share with you exactly how this is being done so that you can replicate the strategy, and go out there and create real retention, the thing that’s going to keep you in business for the long haul.
- Stream and reply – Twitter, Facebook and other channels give you the ability to find lists of people, stream their information and reply to what they’re saying. This is the fastest and most effective way of building solid trust points with people in your target market. This is incredible for both acquisition and retention.
- Get involved – The more involved you are in people’s everyday activities, the more they start to consider you a part of their lives. Once a certain point is reached in the minds of your prospects, they won’t think twice about calling you when their in need of your services. Respond to their tweets about taking their kids to the dentist. Comment on their Facebook posts about what they had for dinner. Really get involved.
- Engage with their friends – One of the single most effective strategies for my company has been to engage with entire local online communities. I’m out there talking to everyone! The social proof factor in that is huge. People see me talking to their friends and it is automatically creating a familiar feeling. If nothing else, people will do business with you because they see you talking to their friends.
- Last but not least, make sure when you go and do a service for people, or provide them with a product, you create a remarkable experience. People want to talk about the things that are going on in their lives and they will go completely crazy with telling people about something really positive that happened in an interaction with a brand.
If you stick to these basics, and you execute consistently, retention is inevitable. These new platforms give us a chance to create a connection with our potential customers that we could never have created before.
We’re in a time in our cultural and economical evolution where retention is one of the most important factors of business, because simply put, it keeps you in business.
Social media has no ROI, when you are trying to push your way to acquisition. But the ROI in patiently establishing trust points, engaging with large communities, getting involved in people’s every day activities, and replying to streams of information, is extremely powerful.
Author : Ryan Critchett