Every business needs one thing: customers. So naturally, this is a matter of concern for solopreneurs.
Sometimes, “customers” are people who buy something that you're selling them directly.
If you're running an ecommerce shop or offering info products, you want to entice people to buy from you.
In other cases, it's not quite so straightforward.
If you're a blogger or you've got an affiliate site — that is, your content basically is your product — you're probably thinking more in terms of readers and audiences.
Either way, you're putting a lot of your time and energy into attracting these people to what you have to offer.
Your typical customer is, well, a customer. They make a purchase, sometimes several of them.
Hopefully, they might even buy from you on a regular basis, especially if you're selling consumables like tea, coffee, or vitamin supplements.
But there's a step above your usual run of the mill customer.
Out of those people, some of them may very well become genuine fans of your brand.
That's exactly what you should be aiming for.
True fans are loyal and engaged. They tell their friends about you, bringing you even more business.
You're probably a customer yourself, at quite a few stores and vendors.
Like a grocery store. You go in, get what you need, and have a good overall experience.
But would you really call yourself a “fan” of the grocery store? (To be fair, Costco has done a breathtaking job of turning customers into fans. But you get what I mean.)
But then, there are other brands and businesses that you really, really like. You'd call yourself a “fan” of them.
You keep an eye on their latest news, and you get excited when they come up with a brand new product. You recommend them to your friends and colleagues.
So how do you transform your own customer base into loyal, dedicated, avid fans who don't just like your brand, but absolutely love it?
In a recent article from MarketingProfs, the author offers some great advice for finding ways to connect with customers on a deeper, more intimate level. Here are some things that you can do to forge a real relationship between consumers and your brand.
Research your audience's needs and interests
You're trying to attract and retain a social media audience, so your first step is to get to know them. Start with your current following, if you have one, and establish a baseline for who they are and thus whom to target in the future.
When researching your audience, it'll help if you get to know them by common themes. Find the themes underpinning your audience's needs and interests.
Knowing that will help you create relevant, personalized experiences on social media, similar to how you might in emails.
How do you do this research and find those themes?
The simple answer: check the available analytics.
Another way to learn about your audience is to ask them directly. Create a survey or poll to ask your audience about their interests.
Ideally, you want to ask questions that do not require your audience to leave the site.
A Twitter poll is a great example of how to get information within a social platform.
You can ask a multiple-choice question and even ask for replies to allow for more answers beyond the options listed.
Make social selling about being helpful
Social media isn't a press release platform.
Your audience doesn't want to see blatant sales pitches coming from your accounts.
Yet, you still want to profit from your efforts. How do you sell without pushing your audience away?
Social selling is the common term for how you can build your business from social media.
It takes the sales pitch approach and turns it into value sharing.
Use social media to establish your expertise in the industry by providing valuable information and insight.
People will see and appreciate your efforts when it helps them with their own.
Don't restrict your social media engagement to just product relevance. Be helpful to those who reach out to you even when it doesn't directly relate to a sale.
Give your audience the spotlight
User generated content is a highly effective way of appealing to your social audience because it gives them publicity through your accounts.
It gives them a voice and grants them their own influence.
Use this to your advantage, especially on Instagram and Facebook.
These are just a few of the ways you can reach out and engage with your audience. When you do this well, you'll start seeing your best customers turn into devoted fans, and most importantly, into brand ambassadors who spread the word about your product.
You can find more great advice for turning customers into true fans over at MarketingProfs.
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