Social media is today’s shiny penny. People think they can whip up Facebook and Twitter pages, and then automatically have customers. This “If you build it, they will come,” type thinking misses a few important steps. Namely, creating customer connections.
People are more likely to purchase from those that they trust. Indeed 14% of people believe advertising, while 74% trust the recommendations of others, particularly friends and family. In order to get these recommendations, you need to create personal relationships.
So this means that you should give up on your online strategies all together and go back to the old-fashioned hand out business cards approach, right? Wrong, although I am a firm believer in the importance of attending networking events and handing out business cards while making important business and friendship connections.
Instead, you need to be strategic about your online strategies, focusing on your target market, being responsive to consumer needs, and providing value for current or potential customers. Today, Randy Shrum of MyCorporateMedia presented valuable advice on how to attract and create positive relationships (and sales) online. I’d like to share some of it here.
Get Attention. Attract the consumer with something that they will find interesting. The goal is to get customers to click-through to your site or call you personally.
Captivate Lead. Give them a freebie. Provide some sort of free content that will keep them interested and make you appear as the expert.
Create Desire. Follow-up this freebie with even more valuable content. Again, this will help establish your position as an expert eager to serve.
Bond. Create a social and personal bond. Find a common interest. Go have coffee. Attend an event together. This will go a long way to creating credibility.
Establish Credibility. Prove that you know what you say you know with case studies or testimonials for customers.
Call to Action. This would be the only sales step. In the long run, you want customers to purchase. This is where you creatively ask for the sale.