Biz Tips: Give them the business … socially

Biz Tips: Give them the business … socially

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Give them the business … socially

Businesses and social media have a fundamental conflict: commerce versus social.

Entrepreneurs new to social media see thousands of potential customers and strain at their leash to start selling. That’s anathema to those online primarily to just be social.

Nicky Kriel has found a happy medium. An international social media trainer, speaker and author, she makes a living giving businesses tips to connect, converse and convert on social media. Her latest book is “Converting Conversations to Customers.”

She and marketing entrepreneur Madalyn Sklar focused on Twitter, starting — appropriately enough — with first impressions. Business owners need to make sure their Twitter biography is attractive to their ideal customers.

It might be good to ask sample customers to review your biography to see what they think. Sure, they’re not trained marketers, but that’s the point. What does the typical person think of you?

“Your Twitter bio should encourage the right people to follow you,” Kriel said. “Do include your keywords. Do tell people who you are, who you help and how you help them. Don’t use too many hashtags in your bio.

“Use a maximum of two relevant hashtags,” she said. “Otherwise, it looks very spammy.”

For more details, Kriel created an in-depth guide to optimize Twitter profiles.

“Be sure your Twitter bio is up to date,” Sklar said. “Do an audit every three to six months — or more often — updating your bio as needed.”

Be attractive

For businesses just starting out, there are ways to attract the right customers with the right content.

“Focus on your customer first,” Kriel said. “How can you help solve a problem they have? Put a good system in place for your content marketing so you can plan, generate ideas, repurpose, curate and schedule easily.

“If you are just starting out and have never produced any content, begin by sharing other people’s content that would be useful to your ideal customer,” she said. “Add value by making a brief comment about what you’re sharing.”

Kriel wrote a blog about how to attract the right customer with social media content.

After finally connecting with high-profile Twitter influencers, you can thank them for following you, but that might sound boring. Kriel had a better idea.

“Forget about thanking them for following you,” she said. “Instead, read, watch or listen to something they’ve created. Send them a thoughtful tweet about it. They’ll notice you.”

Sklar prefers visual appeal.

“I’m a big fan of video-reply tweets,” she said. “Send them a tweet with a video saying praise for connecting with you. I actually like doing this with just about anyone — influencer or not.”

Kriel noted the difference between social selling and selling on social media.

“Social selling is using social media to attract, discover and nurture relationships until customers are ready to buy,” she said. “Selling on social media is getting people to buy your stuff directly by clicking on a link from social media.”

Prompt replies

Using Twitter for customer care is great if your customers are there and use the platform to reach you. That means you have to hold up your end and respond quickly on the channel that promotes itself for quick, real-time responses.

Kriel gave her Top 5 advantages of using Twitter for customer care:

  • Costs of dealing with customers can be 80 percent less per interaction than by phone.
  • Tweets are conversational and concise.
  • You can have real-time conversations with customers.
  • Tweets are public and visible, which means you can find complaints, praise and feedback. Anyone can watch how you respond to your customers.
  • “Twestimonials” can be amplified on Twitter and embedded into your website as social proof.

Another Kriel blog explains why Twitter will make you better at customer care.

Rise up

Customer satisfaction is extremely valuable for any business. Business owners can use Twitter to connect with their audience by taking customer experience and satisfaction to the next level.

“Put all your customers and potential customers into private Twitter lists,” Kriel said. “Then you can pay more attention to their tweets. Nurture the relationship before, during and after the sale. Never underestimate the power of small gestures.”

A small business puts in a lot of effort in building conversations and offering great content to their connections. Kriel suggested the best way to convert those connections to customers: Take online relationships offline.

“It may be fun chatting on Twitter, but you’re using Twitter for business,” she said. “If you have been chatting with someone for a while, take the conversation offline to find out more about their desires.

“If you see any buying signals from your connections, don’t waste time,” Kriel said. “Send them a direct message to ask them if you can chat to see if you can help them. Send them a tweet to tell them that you’ve sent them a DM. That’s because not everyone reads their DMs.”

For more in-depth analysis, see Kriel and Sklar’s Facebook Live conversation.

About The Author

Jim Katzaman is a manager at Largo Financial Services and worked in public affairs for the Air Force and federal government. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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