Engage Your Prospects and Leads in an Entirely Different Way
On the typical company website, what manner of engagement can the average visitor expect? Usually, the visitor is being talked to, often in (gasp!) company jargon, and the web copy is little more than an online brochure. Since most searchers are looking for information, this may work for the one-time visitor. However, what’s to keep the visitor from leaving once they have found what they are looking for? What’s to ever bring them back?
Talk With Your Customers, Not To Them
Why not engage the prospect/customer with interaction? You can have a blog on your site where visitors can leave comments. Perhaps your company even has surveys or contests. Better still is also to use social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and/or Google+. Your company can still have the contests and surveys, but you can have actual conversations with your prospects on social media outlets. Your customers can tell you what they want…and don’t want! You’ll have real life, honest-to-goodness feedback that no survey or focus group could ever provide. Yes, you will get occasional complaints and negative comments. If your way of thinking is to suppress all negativity toward your brand, you’re living in a dream world. Instead, why not address any legitimate issues right then and there? Don’t you think that if other customers saw how you jumped to address an issue someone had with a product of yours that that would make a favorable impression? You can’t purchase trust with a well-written ad or a slick radio or television commercial. You can earn it with engagement!
Give Your Company a Voice
No, I’m not necessarily talking about some artificial branding voice. Instead, I am referring to giving your business a human voice. A human that listens, talks back (nicely!), and cares. Not some brand that tells a customer what it wants the customer to hear. This is going to go counter to a lot of marketers and branding experts out there, but herein lies the true power of social media. Those that just dabble in social media will say it doesn’t work. That it’s a waste of time and resources. The companies that truly get it realize that, especially in tough times, being seen as actual human beings connects a lot better. And gets positive results. To be fair, branding is important. Your company should have branding guidelines for conventional advertising like print ads, radio and television commercials. Just not in social media (other than the look of the medium, where applicable). Clients, prospects and customers can see right through it.
Use Social Media With Traditional Advertising
So many companies view social media as a competitor for traditional advertising. After all, if folks are going to the Facebook page, then that is taking visitors away from the company website! The only ones worried about that are the SEO guys who maintain your website! Instead of viewing social media as competition, view these outlets as allies. Social media can actually play a big part in SEO, and can compliment offline advertising efforts, too. Think big picture. Pieces of the same puzzle. Not competition. Now, I have worked in way too many corporations (usually as a contractor) so as not to be so naive to realize that different departments are very competitive, oftentimes even nasty, when it comes to budget dollars. Unfortunately, as long as there are corporate budgets and limited resources, there are always going to be fights to justify spending. However, the sooner you realize that you all work for the same company and that you’re all trying to help the company grow, the better.
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