Social Media for Business: Optimizing Customer Marketing

At OSM we like to keep in touch with social media marketing for business and among recent posts we’ve written about L’Oreal using Facebook, how airlines are using social media, and also ways to collect customer feedback with web apps. Today we want to take a look at how small businesses can optimize their customer marketing.

Customer references and feedback should play a big part of any company’s social media marketing and there are ways of improving the value of those customer references. An article by Leyl Master Black over on Mashable (originally posted on the American Express OPEN Forum), looks at 4 ways of getting the best results.

The first tip is to ‘Ask Specific Questions.’ This might sound obvious but it’s easy to ask for non-specific questions where the answers may not mean as much. It’s far better to ask a question where the answer will highlight what makes your company different or better than others. For example instead of asking what the customer thought of your company’s service, if your company prides itself on speedy service you might instead ask what they thought of the promptness and efficiency of your service.

Another piece of advice is to ‘Create Video Testimonials.’ You’ve heard of the saying a picture can tell a thousand words so instead of just using some text quotes on your website you could put some videos or link some together of customers singing your company’s praises. Moving on to ‘Understand Your Customers in the Aggregate.’ This involves gathering information from your customers so that you have more of an understanding of them, such as how many are repeat visitors or why they chose your company over others. There are sites now that will set up a survey for your business and some are free, SurveyMonkey for instance. Once you analyze the data you collect from customers you should be able to gain insights that will be helpful to your marketing.

The final tip, ‘Empower Customers to Spread the Word,’ is one of the simplest ways to promote business. What could be easier than to get your customers to spread the word for you? One way to enable this is by adding the Facebook ‘Like’ button to your company website. Facebook Places is also a good option that can be used by customers to “check in” with your business and you can offer rewards and incentives. When they do this, their friends can see your business name via the news feeds and if this is done enough times your company name will soon begin to make an impact.

All of these ways should ensure that your business is benefiting as much a possible from its customer marketing and we’d be interested to hear if you use these methods and to hear if they worked for you? Perhaps you have some other suggestions for optimizing customer marketing? Let us know with your comments.