How to use social media to get more customers
Written on the 28 July 2008
Everyone is talking about social media – websites like Myspace and Facebook have millions of members and big businesses everywhere are using online communities and interactive content to attract customers and build their brand loyalty.
If you sell products, you should have a photo gallery of your range on your website – more than 50% of consumers research online before they come in-store to purchase so you should be using your website to draw them in. Photo galleries also have some other really interesting applications for different businesses and they are a great tool for engaging with customers and giving them a reason to return to your website (and even share it with their friends).
Forums are a popular way to build a community around your business. Your customers can ask each other or you questions and discuss topics, and if the chat room gets popular, you could have hundreds of visitors coming to your site on a daily basis to participate in conversation. The key to a successful forum is to make it worthwhile for people to participate – they need to get something out of it, so if you don’t have the type of business that easily generates discussion, you can attract participants by sharing your own expertise and other guest attendees through your online forum.
The form of classifieds that we all know is newspaper classifieds, which is where you pay to place an advertisement in the newspaper to buy or sell something. Online classifieds work in the same way – people pay you the opportunity to advertise something of theirs on your site. This tool is ideal if you want to start an online business or directory because it’s an easy way to get your site making a profit for you and it builds a community of users that visit your site on a regular basis.
This is a simple and effective way to introduce two-way communication between your business and your customers. A bulletin board allows you to post messages and information on your website and also for your customers to post their own messages – from events, to items for sale, to questions for your business or other users. It’s a very simple system, so it has a multitude of applications for different businesses. Also, the website owner retains control over the board and can block any inappropriate messages from being published, so it’s very secure.
Everyone loves to win something, so competitions are a very successful tool for your website. They have multiple benefits – building up your database with all the entrant’s details, up-selling and promoting your products in a different way, and also getting people to visit your site regularly. If you do run a competition on your website, always offer something valuable as the prize so you get a lot of entries, make sure get the proper permits and get entrants to subscribe to your newsletter so you can continue to market to them.
Getting results online is all about being different and offering something that attracts people to your website and then keeps them coming back. There are a lot of web tools out there, so you need to sit down and think about creative ways to use them in your business and then find a website developer that has the software, team, experience and reliability to deliver a quality solution for your business.