Take Your Social Media Relationships to the Next Level

Kristin Lesko - June 28, 2012

There comes a time in every relationship when you have to ask yourself the defining question: “Where is this going?” The same is true when you’re trying to turn Facebook “Likes,” LinkedIn “Connections” and Twitter “Follows” into concrete sales. While you already know the user “Likes” you, what you really want to know is if they’re going to buy what you’re selling. Here are four ways to turn Social Media connections into real-life customers … without getting stuck in the dreaded “Friend” zone.

Brand Your Platforms
Whether you’re on one Social Media platform or eight, it’s important to utilize the opportunity to brand every company profile page with your own signature look/feel. On Facebook, you can upload your company logo as the profile picture or design a custom banner advertising your company’s services for the cover photo. If you’re on Twitter, you can take things a step further and design a “skin” that will then become the background of your Twitter page. While customization options are limited to the functionality capabilities of each Social Media platform, there are still many great ways you can set your page apart from the competition, and point potential customers to your brand.

Balance Self-Promotion with Audience Relevancy

If you’re using Social Media as a marketing tool, you already know the advantages it carries for self-promotion. But if you’re hitting current or potential customers with promotion after promotion, it’s going to come across loud and clear that you have an agenda—and it’s not the same as theirs. Be selective with what you share and make sure it’s relevant to the end-user. “Pin” a great recipe on Pinterest for a party dip, and include your company’s salsa as the main ingredient. Host a “Hangout” on Google+ where you show viewers “How to Make 10 Different Outfits From the Same Five Core Pieces,” all sold at your clothing boutique. The key is to use Social Media as a way to engage with the end-user, not to send them content that’s the equivalent of a print mail piece addressed to “Current Resident.” Get to know them and, in turn, they’ll want to know more about you—and the services your company can provide.

Don’t Stand Them Up
Once you have a captivated audience, pat yourself on the back, but don’t leave them hanging. If you do, they’ll just leave—period. If you suddenly stop posting Tweets on your stock broking company’s Twitter page and potential customers were following you for investment insights, they’ll bring their business elsewhere when they decide to buy. Social Media engagement isn’t a destination, it’s an ongoing activity. So once you achieve your Social Media goal of hitting a certain amount of viewers on your YouTube channel or “Likes” for your Facebook page, don’t rush out to buy a bottle of bubbly (unless you’re going to share). You’ve still got work to do.

Include a Call to Action
Although you don’t want to include “Call Us Today” verbiage in all your posts, you do want to display contact information prominently on your Social Media pages. If I’m watching a video on your yoga studio’s YouTube channel about how to properly execute that tricky “Crow” move and I decide I want to try it out at your studio next Saturday, I’m going to look around that page for contact information. If I can’t find any, I’m probably going to lose interest and move on. And while I may go on to become the best Crow I can be, you just lost a sale that you had in the bag. For maximum ROI, use your Social Media pages to get their attention, keep it and then direct them to the right place to seal the deal.

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