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8131029[1]To paraphrase Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba, “if you focus on satisfying your customers, profitability will follow”.

The belief that satisfying your customers is achieved by merely providing the products and services they want is no longer enough. Your competitors are doing this also. It about how you communicate and interact with them in both an offline and online capacity and social media provides a great tool set to respond quickly, build a community and grow brand advocacy.

Does your business have a social profile? How many profiles does it have?

Merely having 1 or more profiles because your competitors do or because you think you need to, is just simply not a good reason. Make sure you have a clear strategy or plan in place that covers:

1.       what you want to achieve
2.       what profiles you need to achieve this
3.       how you’ll grow and build you following
4.       how you’ll respond and manage feedback and comments
5.       content development
6.       How you’ll measure and report on it.

All too often I see the social profiles of business and corporates that have sparsely updated information that does little to engage with it followers or entice new readers. It may seem daunting to build content for a social profile, let along multiple profiles as well as other touch points like email and blogging however to be successful in this space it is important to do so.  Your customers, supporters or followers will engage with you via different channels, the one they are most comfortable with. This allows you to syndicate the same content across channels without doubling the message to many of them.

A happy customer is the best advertising you can get and in days gone by this was evidenced by word-of-mouth which lead to more people coming into your local store. In today’s online environment we can still achieve this through things like “email a friend” or “liking”.

You can use social to further validate you offering whether it be service based or selling products by having testimonial or rating and reviews published and displayed onsite. This represents in the eyes of the users an impartial and unbiased opinion and displays an openness to share this information.

Do forget to promote your social profiles via your other channel including website, email, in-store and print.

Remember if you’re going to the effort to “socialise” your site then ensure that these visible social influencers are supported with the correct technical implementation including open graph and structured data. This tell the automated crawlers of search engines and social sites exactly what the webpage is about ensuring no ambiguity in interpretation.

In conclusion, building brand advocates out of your existing customers with not only increase revenue from this group, it will also drive awareness and traffic from there circle of influence. So get social and make sure you have a plan supporting it.