Social media has given businesses more platforms and more opportunities to put them in front of the people with who they'd like to do business. The big problem/challenge/obstacle for businesses and social media is how to attract more customers and make more sales, right? Wrong. Social media is not necessarily for customer acquisition but to strengthen and broaden relationships with existing customers/clients/fans. People on social media aren't there to be sold by you so if they choose to like you or your business on social media - especially Facebook - is because your business/product/service fits into their lifestyle. In your social postings speak to the relationship and lifestyle between you and them and help them in additional ways that strengthen their affinity for you. Here are some tips:
"Someone liking you on Facebook doesn’t mean a loyal customer."
Brands must give users a reason to "like" them. Someone liking you on Facebook doesn’t mean a loyal customer. Is there a perk such as a coupon, a code for free shipping, or a discount, only available to Facebook fans or other techies? Courtesy ofRetail Wire, Molly Garris, director of digital strategy at Arc World-wide, outlines eight examples of how retailers can use Facebook and mobile technologies to drive their sales efforts:
1. Help shoppers prepare: Consumers are creating and storing lists on their phones, but some retailers are givingcustomers even more options. Target's app tells shoppersif the product they are looking for is in stock and, if so,where to find it.
2. Invite them inside: A new app from Shopkick not only shows customers the stores that are near them, butprovides them incentives for entering. Example: When auser opens the all for American Eagle (a ShopKick partner) and walks into American Eagle retail outlet, he/she earns points for deals and coupons. American Eagle shoppers alsogain extra points for trying on clothes.
3. Show them around: One "anonymous" superstore has a "Find It" app that lets shoppers enter what product they are looking for, and then provides directions to the location. Another app that helps customers find products is Aisle411, but a retailer must partner with the company to upload its maps into the system.
4. Help them decide: For customers who are undecided a bout making a product purchase, a smartphone can helpthem compare items inside a store rather than searching for them on competing sites.
5. Encourage them to share: Macy's developed an "augmented reality experience" app that allows shoppers to point their phones at a specific place on the floor, thus getting characters to pop up. And a Converse sneakers app lets shoppers take a photo of shoes, see it in a variety of colors and styles, and then instantly text it or send it to Facebook.
6. Make the transaction easier: C Wonder, a store in New York, lets employees equipped with iPods and iPads handle transactions from anywhere in the store. Customers no longer have to wait in line to purchase a product.
7. Make sure shoppers are satisfied: Home Depot has an app that gives customers tips on do-it-yourself projects, includ-ing "how to" videos, while a Kroger app gives its shoppers grill-ing tips and recipes when they purchase a specific brand of char-coal.
8. Invite them back: Several pharmacies send text alerts to customers when it's time for them to refill their prescriptions.
You always want to be acquiring new customers to grow your business but social media gives you a wonderful opportunity to "touch" your repeat customers often and remain top of mind with them. It will also provide a powerful way to remind them why they liked you (off and on-line) in the first place.