Being consumed in your business certainly has its up's and down's. Losing sight of your customers is easy to do when so busy completing regular tasks.
However, engagement with your audience will prove to be one of the most powerful things you can do to increase brand recognition and trust.
Let me show you how you can engage with your fans today, which will ultimately build your brand.
“People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
- Theodore Roosevelt
7. Quality, Quality, Quality
Today's consumer can spot trash faster than ever. And although it is easy to produce and push tons of information to your audience, everything must be quality.
What does quality mean?
With anything you do in your business, you must represent your brand on all cylinders. There is no time for a step back or pause. With everything you do... your audience is closely watching you.
For example, most small businesses open the gates to the kingdom to hopefully drum up patrons. If you are going to host an open house (or any event for that matter), then it must be top-notch. Spend the extra time and money on the planning and execution of your occasion.
We've all been to the events that have grocery store veggie trays and crackers as the spread. How did it make you feel about that specific brand, or even that specific person for that matter?
Not good at all...
Another example where quality is a must is in your content. The information you provide must be intentional and precise.
Take the time to truly develop something that will interest your audience and provide added value to your products or services. Not only should the blog, social media post, infographic, or any other piece of content you produce be relevant... it should grab and keep the attention of your followers.
Providing that extra content shouldn't be a sales ploy to gain more customers, but rather a path to informing and essentially choosing the right customers for your business.
This is why spending extra time on research & production will clearly pay off in the long run.
6. Engage With Reviews
Have you ever taken the time to look up the reviews for the product(s) or service(s) you offer?
The internet is an incredible tool that everyone in the modern era has relied on to give instant information about anything, and all at the tap of a finger.
What's more interesting is that consumers are using the internet to research into their purchases, as this provides them with the knowledge and information to make educated purchases.
Let's think outside the box for just a second.
What if you were to respond personally (on behalf of your business or brand) to these reviews?
And I'm not talking about just the good ones... but the controversial and negative reviews as well?
Responding to the reviews of your business will bring a humanistic feeling back to the business, and let everyone know that you are deeply passionate about the operation you run.
5. Just Listen To The People
Speaking of reviews... when was the last time you just stopped and listened to your fans?
Hey, I know it can be tough to hear what you don't want to hear. Negative feedback is an uncomfortable and unwelcoming occurrence for any business at some point.
We all know it's also very easy to dismiss this feedback, chalking it up to craziness. Right?
For the complaints and negativity, here is one tip that you can take from this article that is actionable right away:
Filter out the emotion in the feedback. There is always truth in any review. We all have a tendency to put emotion into our feedback when we want to be heard. So look at it, strip it down to the core, and improve.
Wait a second!
We cannot forget the positive reviews here!
Interact with your audience. Anything that they point out as a good thing, definitely thank them and engage further.
What if you did something like this:
Thank you for this awesome feedback! We are so very humbled to see that [insert product here] is exceeding your expectations. How else can we serve you? Give us a shout directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if we can help in any way!
What does this do?
• Builds trust
• Shows brand personality
• Creates a pipeline
• Promotes quality feedback that could potentially provide your next opportunity
Ultimately... Just listen to your fans and customers. Never take any information they give you for granted, and always drill down to the core of the feedback they provide.
We are continually talking about how giving free information is essential to your business model, and creating valuable calls-to-action is just as important.
What is the true definition of "Call-to-Action"?
Most searches proved ineffective, specifically relating this phrase to an ask for a sales pitch or marketing strategy.
THIS IS COMPLETELY WRONG!
Okay... it is sort of right. But how can you use a call-to-action to benefit your consumer?
Most customers find it hard to act on a decision, whether it be free or not. For example, do you normally take action immediately after an epic inspirational podcast?
Asking your customer to achieve something related to the content you are providing is a key necessity to completing the attempt to provide added value.
It doesn't just have to be about selling something that your business provides. Let's show an example regarding a blog post about time management:
Call-to-Action: "Now, here's a challenge for you! Take 5-minutes right now to jot down 3 things that you hate to do in your business based on what you just read, and eliminate them by outsourcing. Tell us below about your success!"
There are two items with this call-to-action:
• The ask- This benefits the consumer, and shows that the value in the article just read will make this process easier. It also provides credibility to your cause.
• Creates an accountability factor by asking to post success stories in the comment section.
Want a social media example?
— SmartMarketingVibes (@VibesMarketing) March 2, 2016
Look at what I did here. I created a bold statement, and then asked my followers to connect with me directly to begin a conversation.
It's seriously that simple, and provides your business with tons of information and ideas that you did not previously have.
The overarching goal that you should be striving for is to create engagement with your fans by providing an "ask" that will benefit them in valuable ways.
Posing this action item will create a sense of urgency and purpose for the epic content or social post you just created!
3. Make It Relatable
Your content will be simple words on a page unless you target it to situations and opportunities that your fans are currently experiencing.
Take this article. You clicked on it because you probably thought, "Hey, I need to work on getting my customers more involved in my brand."
It's so simple to write an article and throw it up on social media for the world to read. However, relating to your consumers' pain points are essential to each and every piece of content you produce.
Not only that, but posing thought-provoking points and questions that engage your audience on a complex level is essential.
You wouldn't just state facts and expect your audience to just buy-in to what you're saying, would you?
(See what I did there?)
Being relatable also builds your brand credibility with your customers. Hearing and understanding the needs of your audience and then providing information that they're asking for can and will boost the trust and engagement with your business.
2. Be Social... On Social Media
Who would have thought we would have to state this?
I put this at numero dos because I see this as an ongoing epidemic with small businesses on social media.
Want to know the secret sauce to boosting your engagement with fans and overall success?
Follow these steps:
• Stop selling on social media.
• Start conversing and interacting where your fans are at, and relate to what they're talking about.
Seriously, it's that simple.
Are you a business in Colorado? You missed a big opportunity by not completely engaging and riding the social media trends during the big game this year.
Is a major show ending that interests your demographic? Communicate about that!
Ladies and gentlemen, it is so easy... and yet hardly anyone is doing it. It only takes a little bit of research, understanding of your target market, and a hashtag to completely blow up.
Or try this one... Tag your fans in posts. Ask them questions. Give them something. Share a tip with them.
There's a reason it's called social media. So let's be social with our crowd.
So why did I rank this #1?
Transparency is a clear combination of everything we have talked about in this article.
In today's market, consumers are looking to know and understand a business, the values, and what makes the brand different.
By opening your doors and showing your audience the guts of your brand, you are creating an engagement opportunity that will crush it.
Buy-in will be received because they can see how you are doing the things you do.
A sense of honesty and integrity is built by showing how you are producing or servicing.
By using social media, you are connecting with each customer on a personal level and providing relatable content that should agree with their values and beliefs.
You've listened to your audience, and know exactly what they want to see in regards to the back-end operations of your brand.
You know what to ask, and how to provide actionable content through transparent communication on the how-to's and why's of your product or service.
Finally, you want to show that the items you are producing is quality and not just something to make a quick buck.
Let's Sum It Up
We've talked about quit a bit here, so let's revisit and create an actionable next step for you and your brand.
Quality is key with anything you do, and will ultimately grab the attention of your customer and begin interaction.
Listen and interact with the feedback. It is so very vital to take feedback in stride, strip the emotion out of it, and respond new and improved.
But also be social with your audience. It's not just about business... it's about providing that extra value to promote engagement with your brand.
Finally, open the operational side of your business to your customers, and show them why you do what you do, and how you exceed their expectations each and every time.
So what's next for you?
Add me on Twitter @VibesMarketing, and tag me by giving your audience a sneak peek! Use the hashtag #transparency, and let's see where this goes!