SOCIAL NETWORKS FOR BUSINESS; Are You Talking to Your Customers in the Way They Want to Communicate? Social Networks Are Not Just for Friends, They Are an Essential Tool for Maintaining Healthy Sales, Long-Term

Article excerpt

The most successful companies have followers - not just customers who visit their pages, but consumers who "Like" the company on sites such as Facebook and are prepared to share that fact with their friends.

So if you are not using social media, you are missing a growing source of business.

Social media enables customers to find you, rate you, share what they like about you and buy from you. With hibu eShop, they can purchase straight from Facebook without even leaving your page.

However, social media requires a lot more thought than simply building a brilliant web page. Businesses need to be clever - and proactive.

The first important step is to offer something worth following by doing or selling something customers want to share with others - whether that is great service, charitable donations on every sale or a link with the local community.

post advance notice of sales on social media first.

Then be persistent. There is no point in setting up a Twitter or Facebook account if you do not update it - this is the "working" part of social media and you need to keep tweeting or posting to keep people interested. Set aside a time each day, or every few days, to post your latest news, products, details of sales or even a funny story about your industry or local area.

Finally, build relationships with your fanbase. Once you have them interested - and they feel part of your business's online community - you need to turn your social marketing into sales.

When it comes to social marketing, keep it simple. It's essential to promote just one or two things at a time.

With hibu eShop, customers can purchase straight from Facebook without even having to leave your page However, they need to know they can follow you or nobody will. So include an invitation to "Like" you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter, in emails, on receipts and in all marketing. Give visitors an incentive - for example, telling them that you HAPPY CUSTOMERS ARE GOOD FOR BUSINESS How to encourage your clients to be a part of your online community Encourage them to "Like" you: Give your satisfied customers every opportunity to "Like" you, link to or write a review of your products or services - then share it by email, on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest or Google +.

Get them to rate you: Always ask for feedback, all visitors need to do is click a star rating when visiting your site. Use this information to find out what your customers like (and what you can improve), and use the information to tell the world how great you are. If you are selling to other businesses ask for endorsements on sites like LinkedIn.

Get them to pass it on: Every time a satisfied customer posts a picture wearing your clothes, posts a message on Facebook to tell their friends about their new kitchen or raves about your service, they are giving you a free advertisement. Encourage visitors to go one step further and offer a reward for introducing a friend or colleague.

For more digital marketing tips from hibu visit standard.co.uk/hibu ADVERTISEMENT PROMOTION NEXT WEEKWhy great website design is good for business NEXT WEEKWhy great website design is good for business HAPPY CUSTOMERS ARE GOOD FOR BUSINESS How to encourage your clients to be a part of your online community world how great you are. …