Small businesses who rely on close relationships with clients are the first to benefit from using social media as a cost effective and easy way to engage with customers.  Retaining customers is the difference between success and failure for a small business, but with limited capacity it is often challenging to stay in regular contact, but with social media it is as quick and easy as a click of a button.

Easier said than done!  Social media can be confusing and challenging to those not familiar with navigating around the social media marketing environment.  Of course I would not be doing my business justice without encouraging you to outsource to a specialist, but I feel compelled to share some easy yet important steps to begin building an online community and relationships with your followers.

Once your page is set up correctly with the required information and look and feel aligned to your brand, you need to begin with content attraction.  This is the most important process to attracting the correct audience to your page.  The correct content will also gain the correct engagement which is how you measure the success of your page.  Focus on sharing information aligned to your product or service and what your customers would want to see or read.  If you are adding value to your followers a relationship will be formed which will lead to the conversion of a Facebook follower to procuring customer.

Once you are online you need to commit to engaging, responding, and posting regularly.  If a follower shared a comment or poses a question, you have to commit to timeously responding or you could damage your reputation.  Even though the various social media platforms are public, followers have a perception of personal relationships built via social media.  Keep track of the most common questions, comments, complaints posed so that you are able to address these issues on a regular basis. It is important to gather analytics from your pages to determine readership / follower data.

It takes time to build up a decent follower network and engagement levels, but once you have gained a trusting relationship with your followers it is important on focusing on converting the effort into sales.  The social media followers must know exactly what your product is, the benefit of it, where to get it and why they should get it, so they will go get it!

Use social media correctly and you will gain the desired benefits.