Sites like Facebook and Twitter have revolutionized the way people share online and communicate with others. If your business is not leveraging social networking to increase your company’s social currency and promote services and support, then you are missing out on tons of valuable opportunities.
Social currency relates to your company’s influence and following on social media sites. The bigger your presence on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+, the more you can leverage your social currency to drive customers to your website, help increase sales and improve support.
According to Sharethatad, only about 10 percent of consumers trust “brands.” Therefore, unless you market your products and services to this very small market exclusively, your business should do everything possible to ensure customers are promoting your company for you.
This tried and true concept, known simply as word of mouth advertising, is as old as commerce itself and is by far the most effective way of promoting any business. The same Sharethatad report shows that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends or relatives more than any other form of advertising.
These days, friends and family are much more likely to share and communicate on social media than with any other means of communication, or even in person in many cases. Also, about 70% of consumers research reviews and suggestions online before considering a new brand or purchase. Consequently, the importance of your reputation on social media (and the subsequent word of mouth chatter) cannot be stressed enough. Simply put, word of mouth on social media can make or break your online business.
Increasing your social currency on sites like Facebook and Twitter will enable you to influence followers to start talking about posts or content related to your products and support services. But, your followers will required “triggers” to keep them talking about your company. In a nutshell, a trigger is simply stimuli that cause people to think about your products and services. For instance, when many people read the word “dog”, they also think of “cat”.
Let’s take the words “Corn Flakes.” Most of the time, when people read “Corn Flakes,” they tend to think of “breakfast” and many conversations ignite on social media begin about the product. Conversations about “Corn Flakes” (and other breakfast cereals) start early in the morning and taper off an hour or so before lunch.
The point of triggers is to remind your followers on social media of your products and support services. Most people will not purchase products or use your services as soon as they hear about them. Therefore, you post often and regularly to keep your company, products and support services in the minds of your social media followers. If customers view enough triggers (as is the case “Corn Flakes,”) you can bet that more than a few will buy some during their next trip to the grocery store.
When creating trigger posts for your followers, try to invoke emotion in readers. Look for and create posts or stories that relate to your products and services that also arouse emotions such as amusement, excitement, happiness and even anger. People are much more like to share these kinds of posts than those that are purely informational or promotional in nature.
Whenever you use your support solution to help a customer with a problem (or even to make a new sale), always encourage him/her to share the experience on social media. Your agents and operators will be able to tell when a customer or visitor has been delighted with the service received. Therefore, train your operators to notice this and ask for positive feedback on social media.
Most people want to share positive support stories with their friends and families and love to be seen as helpful when providing such information. So, giving them a gentle nudge by suggesting they share their positive experience on social media sites is just leading them to something they probably would like to do anyway.
Building your social currency online requires a bit of give and take. The take part comes easily enough, as it only requires that you post engaging content on social media sites. If you post enough quality content, your number of customers will grow and result in more traffic for your website.
In order to continue “taking” from your social media posts, you need to give a little also. This is also simple enough, but does require a little time and effort. Make sure that you assign someone to maintain your social media account, and then also make sure that he/she occasionally “likes” posts of your customers and shares some of the better ones. Like a few of your customers’ posts, and you’ll find that they will quickly return the favor and probably share a post or two about the experience.
Increasing your company’s social currency does more than gain you more followers and improve your reputation; it also drives traffic to your website.
With enough word of mouth advertising driven by social currency, you don’t need to spend huge amounts of money on advertising or SEO strategies.
Enough posts that mention your company on Facebook or Twitter, will help your website pages move to the top of Google searches when people search for your products and services.
So, as you can see, using social currency to increase awareness of your products and support services can also help you improve traffic to your site and your bottom line.