By Janette Speyer and Alison Brown, Web Success Team
A hot new spinoff of social media marketing has altered the way companies are engaging their customer base. It’s called Engagement Marketing, also known as “participation marketing,” and is a strategy that is specifically designed to engage consumers and allow them to have an influence on the brand. It is no longer about companies relying on passive marketing and persuasion to gain new clients; it has become an interactive two-way street.
Branding has also become easier and allows for businesses to cultivate more personal relationships. As we move more towards a “relationship age,” and away from an “information age,” interactions between consumers and companies are becoming more closely connected, and the value of these relationships is now more important than ever.
1. Branding: Give Your Company Exposure and Build an Online Presence
Branding is an important aspect of every successful business. Recent studies show that building a social media presence can boost your company’s search engine rankings. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is only one part of the overall ranking, and other factors such as the popularity of your website are included. Social media links and blogs can help give your company exposure, as well as build an online presence by engaging consumers and giving them an opportunity to have a voice. The easier it is to find your company and see that other people are involved online, the more business you will get.
2. Lead Generation and Networking: Getting New and Potential Clients
Engaging customers and building your brand online is becoming an important facet of everyday business. By using online networking tools such as live chats, blogs, and webinars, companies are able to become more transparent and trustworthy. By offering ways for people to interact on a personal level, consumers will begin to trust your products and services.
Also, the more attention your website receives, the more potential your company has to gain new clients. People tend to trust companies that have a strong online presence over companies that don’t have active websites or social media profiles. If your company Facebook profile has a lot of “fans,” or supporters, it will bode well for cultivating new clients.
3. Product Research: Test Your Products and Services via Social Media
Creating a direct and open dialogue with customers allows you to ask them how they feel about your products and services. By including comment fields on your blog and sending out surveys or emails, you can get a good idea as to how your company is doing and how satisfied your customers are. If you were planning on coming out with a new product, but weren’t sure how your loyal customers would receive it, you can ask them online. Perhaps you can offer your fans on Facebook a trial period for your new product and see how customers react. It will save you time and money in the long run, and you can get your product on the market faster.
4. Improving Customer Relations
By improving the way you interact with your customers, you can improve how your business operates. As you find out new ways to incorporate your customer’s opinions and feedback, you can change your business model to adapt to market trends.
There are many ways to gather this information such as including a field on your website that allows for customers to send you an email and tell you about how you’re doing. If you have a blog, leave room for readers to comment on your articles to get them thinking about the services your company offers. The more opportunities you provide your customers with to give you feedback, the easier it will be to meet client needs and expand your business.
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