Social Media Marketing Strategies for Engaging Customers

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Social media is arguably one of the most transformational aspects of our personal and professional lives. It has become people’s microphone, personal advisor, and source of entertainment. So it’s only right that businesses adopt smart approaches to doing business on the social landscape. Social Media Marketing Strategies

There are numerous resources out there showing you how to play “small ball” with social media. If you’re going to have a massive impact with your customers, you’re going to need to adopt a clever and effective strategy that goes beyond just asking questions and posting memes.

Here are some of the different approaches I’ve found to be successful for businesses of all sizes on the social web:

 

Educational/Informative

Education-based marketing is my favorite approach. It’s not education in the homework sense, but more of just keeping people in the know of the important data and talking points related to your market.

This strategy is all about enlightening your customers. Why? Because the more informed they are, the more confident they will be and the better their buying decision are. If you do a good job of educating people about your product or service, and the important happenings in your market, then they’ll look at you like a genius and reward you with their attention and business.

Provide content about how to use your product and host Q&A session where you can answer customer questions. Twitter is great for quick Q&As and Google + Hangouts are great for live demos. Creating an experience around your product or service is crucial to its success.

 

Customer Service

Many businesses have elected to utilize social media as an extension of their customer service support. This strategy generally revolves around troubleshooting; listening for mentions of customer questions or problems, and replying in a timely fashion with a solution.

This strategy is great for building rapport by helping people solve a problem directly. It also serves as social proof because other people see that your business emphasize service, which is a highly admired quality.

Be sure to monitor mentions of your business via reply, hashtag, or Twitter search. Reach out to people talking about your business and answer questions. Provide value by solving people’s problems and you’ll benefit from the goodwill and positive perceptions.

 

Community

Everyone has the basic human need to belong. People come together through cultural, political, professional, and personal interest related reasons. The success of your business is dependent on your ability to create a thriving community around your business. No community, no business.

LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google + make it very easy to create a place for people to come hang out and talk about your market, product, or service. Start your own special interest group on your platform of choice, then build in the value.

 

Curator

Becoming a content curator is another popular option of social media. Collect the very best industry-related content from around the web and share them with your customers. Articles, blog posts, videos, and audio content like podcasts, or interviews. An alternative method of curating content is to source and share user-generated content related to your product or service.

If you run a Chevy dealership, you could get your customers to share pictures of themselves with their Chevy’s. You could also share content related to Chevy reviews, car shows, and interviews with Chevy executives on your Facebook fan page or even on your website. The lesson here is you don’t always have to create the content in order to create a value exchange. Forwarding people to high quality content puts you at the “elbow” of a value exchange.

 

Collaborative

Creating opportunities for collaboration can prove to be extremely beneficial to all parties involved. Collaboration goes right along the concept of community, being that it’s one of our most basic human needs. We are social creatures who need to interact with other people.

When you come together in collaborative efforts not only do you empower your customers by giving them some “buy-in” to your business, but you also get an opportunity to create something very natural and personal to your customers which ultimately translates into a higher response rate. The higher the level of engagement, the more people are going to stick.

A few collaborative ideas are meet-ups, where you get your team (or just yourself if you’re a one-man army) in a room with your customers in a very relaxing and natural environment. You could even host a workshop where you and your customers share experiences, knowledge, techniques, and projects. Other effective collaborative efforts include Google Hangouts and Tweet chats, anything where you’re getting your customers involved to build on the movement you’ve both created.

 

Dewane Mutunga is the Founder & CEO of Connected Experiential Marketing, a NYC-based marketing agency that creates amplified brand experiences and touchpoints for consumer-focused brands and retailers. Find him connecting the dots on Twitter or LinkedIn.

27 comments
gaganmasoun
gaganmasoun

Social media is our best friend to promote our blogs and business. 

donnamerrilltribe
donnamerrilltribe

Hi Dewane,

Sorry I'm a late in this conversation, but this is some great advice you are giving here.  My favorite is Educational/Informative information.  I find that If I provide that, my readers are more likely to come back for more.  I like to encourage them to put in their two cents.  So many times some of my comments go the extra mile and give a good nugget of information.

Although these are all important, my second favorite is Community.  We all need a community to belong in.  It goes beyond syndication.  What happens is that you make friends (Yes friends) with people all over the globe.  You exchange ideas, learn from one another, but most fascinating to me is that some become friends.  This is what I enjoy the most.

Donna Merrill

raenalynntweet1
raenalynntweet1

Hi Dewane,  

Excellent overview of engaging customers in social media. I can tell by your social numbers, you are doing an excellent job and you obviously know what you are talking about. You listed 5 ways to engage:

Educational/Informative
Customer Service
Community
Curator
Collaborative

All of them are essential these days and I cannot pick a favorite. However, content is still king so education and information is the current, most effective direction to take. Customer Service is VERY important. Excellent customer service is rare. You've given some great tips for the last 3 C's. This article is a valuable source of ideas that seem to be a new approach to social media. However, many of these methods are already bubbling on the ground floor and has already proven to be he most impactful way to market in the present and the future. Thanks!

Raena Lynn

thefoodcurator
thefoodcurator

I feel very new to social media  - yup where have I been but this article is one I will bookmark and come back to as it is sound advice...great post!

Lydia Brown
Lydia Brown

Great post many viable options for exposing what you have and helping others. 

Contract Manufacturing Services
Contract Manufacturing Services

Such a great social media marketing strategy. I really happy to visit this post. it is very inst resting for me........

BarbaraCharles
BarbaraCharles

HI Dewane,

Great post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on social media.  This is my first time visiting your blog you definitely learned.   Most notable for me is Customer Service.  Customer Service is what it's all about when building relationships and responding to their needs.  This one is critical to me.  Thanks for your insight.

Barbara 

SarahArrow
SarahArrow

Hi Dewane, I think there will be more content curation as the months go by - companies like Chevy realise they have a finite amount of time and resources and this is one of the best ways of using it.

Latest blog post: Sriracha Sauce

catricala
catricala

Dewane,

always a pleasure to read what you have to say about social media... I consider you one of the "knowing" for social media, how and when to use it and most of all... integrating it in our daily tasks that bring us close to the goals we set out for our selves and our Internet Marketing business...

 

Thanks so much once again.

nickc

sarupashah
sarupashah

Love this post and in particular: No community, no business. - so true, so true and SM enables this  - and it is more than just setting up a facebook group as I have learned... ;)

OrganizerSandy
OrganizerSandy

I like that you mention..." the higher the level of engagement, the more people are going to stick."  That is soooo true! Google hangouts have been really beneficial to our company, although they can be a bit "buggy" at times, it's great to be able to see who you are talking to. Helps bring that personal feel to the table. 

UmaMageshwariB
UmaMageshwariB

"Start your own special interest group on your platform of choice, then build in the value." - Thats a good tip. I need to do that for myself as well as for my clients. Thanks @DewaneMutunga 

mikeymikep
mikeymikep

Good information, however I think you need an editor. Lacking proper grammar and publishing articles with sentences that don't make sense decreases your credibility - especially with regard to your points above.

Martin Nwangwa
Martin Nwangwa

I like the idea of content curation - a good way to get an insight into your particular niche - at the same time offering your readers industry knowledge and opinion into hot topics as well.

DavidMerrill101
DavidMerrill101

Social media is truly an important part of online enterprises of all sorts, Dewane.

 

You've outlined some great reasons to take it seriously and get involved.  Not only do you meet lots of potential clients and customers "out there", but as you point out, you get to showcase your own value at the same time. 

 

I like the example of using Facebook groups to handle customer service.  You can tell people till you're blue in the face that you stand behind your product, but there's nothing like the social proof you establish by actually assisting your clients in front of the world in your FB support group.

crixxan
crixxan

Thanks for the interesting text, retweeted, thanks

mithuhassan
mithuhassan

Nice presentation !! Thanks to share !!!

IPHF
IPHF

Great overview. Thank you.

DewaneMutunga
DewaneMutunga

@raenalynntweet1 My favorite is education/informative, followed by community. Educating positions you as the expert in your space. It also makes your audience smarter which helps them make better, more informed purchase decisions.

DewaneMutunga
DewaneMutunga

 @sarupashah Agreed. It's about connecting, creating, contributing, and sharing with others. Providing value that scales.

DewaneMutunga
DewaneMutunga

 @OrganizerSandy That's a great example. You may only be able to get 10 people on video with a Google Hangout, but those 10 would be more engaged than say 100 on a twitter chat or FB group. More of the senses are involved and there's a higher level of communication.