Ignite The Gears Podcast: Engagement and Social Media Marketing

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With us today is Warren Whitlock, a digital business development strategist, and the leader of a consulting group at Social Media Team Management. Below you will find short actionable summaries of what we talked about in the episode.

Be sure to listen to the episode so you get the full picture before you start to implement these strategies. Here’s to your success!


The meaning of our work

Take a step back and think deeply about what it really means to be in business. At its core, you are catering to humanity’s basic desires. You are developing strategies and ideas that align your product/ service as the solution to their problems.

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Yet we still make the mistake of thinking that if we just push something hard enough into our customer’s face that they will want it. We need to step out of this mentality and realize that the true way to win over a customer is not through constant bickering. It is through useful, engaging, catered, and thoughtful service.

Do what you can to help people

If you do not already do so, go get involved in your local community. Use the skills you were given and shape them to address the issues of a local charity, church, restaurant, school, club, etc. You will be surprised to see just how much you know and how much of an impact you can make by bringing in an outside perspective.

While you may be tempted to push your own goals and stories, this is a great way for you to expand your tool-sets, build meaningful relationships, and develop your community.

Don’t interrupt your audience

Interrupting your audience and trying to sneak in your product is an old school method of getting people to buy. Stop getting in the way of your customer by constantly “reminding” them to buy your product or sign up for your newsletter.

Remember that your customer is there on a mission. Instead of getting in their way, make an effort to walk alongside them.

Get to know what they are really looking for

You can do this by analyzing the various ways your customers interact with your website. The following are a few suggestions:

  • Run an analysis to see how your customers navigate through your site.
  • Track your customers to see where they walk in and where they drop off.
  • Time how long they spend on your website
  • Monitor the amount and the type of content they went through
  • Take note of the most popular pages and the least popular page.

Know what your audience is saying

If somebody out there says that your product sucks or that your product is amazing, you need to know exactly who that person is and why they are saying that.

There is nothing better for your brand than customers who are happily promoting your product to all their friends, family, and co-workers. You know you are doing something right when people put their own word on the line to promote your cause.

Likewise, there is something seriously wrong if your customers are angry, hurt, and disappointed by your product or the way they were treated. A dissatisfied customer will spread word of their dissatisfaction like wild-fire and you never know how many bridges they can burn in the process.

Take care of your customer

If your customers are dissatisfied, make sure you address their problems. The best thing you can do is immediately solve their issue but if you don’t have the solution yet or are unsure of the best way to go about it, let them know.

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Transparency is a great way to built trust with your customers and it is definitely better than giving them a vague answer with no promise at all. There is a huge amount of pressure to get everything right on the first try but the reality is that we are going to make mistakes and find ourselves in situations where we are unsure.

Even so, there is never an excuse to leave your customer behind. After all, they are the real reason you are still in business.

Reward your customer for promoting

Giving away free products or discount codes can get expensive really fast. But doing something as simple as sending a shout out to someone on twitter for posting about your product, or replying to their comment on Facebook will go a long way.

This lets your customers know you are actively listening to their concerns and that you value their opinions.

Use social media as a way to listen

Social media is a stage on which people express themselves. If you really want to get to the heart of what your audience needs, wants, and thinks then you should be taking a step back and listening here. Remember that social media is a platform on which you get to engage your customers.

Ask them questions and give them content to talk about. The best kind of marketing on social media is not blasting your audience with messages, it is getting them to talk to one another on the things you offer.

Find a tribe to get other people involved

For the most part, your customers will be more trustworthy of complete strangers on the web than to you. That’s because those outsiders have little to no vested interest in how well the company performs.

They instead promote the company for the value it brings to their life. These are the types of followers you want to grow and reward.

If you see a tribe starting to grow in your community, start by giving them a name. Interact with them and find out why they love your brand. Encourage them through social media and set up a system to reward them

Give your customers a name

People love being part of something greater than themselves. Having a name to rally behind unifies their cause and gives them a shared identity. Whether it be a shared love for your product or a shared love for your company’s vision, this group rallies together as a family.

Use Google alerts

With Google alerts, you can get all the information being shared about a specific topic, keyword, or industry. You simply type in your interest and Google will send you notifications of any websites, articles, blogs, or research that match your interest.

This is a great way for you to keep your ear low to know when anyone mentions you, your product, and your company.

When hiring, take care of the ones you do not take in

Say you put up applications for several jobs in your company and 10,000 people apply. Then out of those 10,000 you only really consider 1,000 for the second interview and eventually you decide to only hire 10 people. As an employer, you should be making sure the other 9,990 applicants feel appreciated for their efforts.

You never know when you might come across them again, but if you do, you want to make sure they valued your input and are thankful for the direction you led them in. By making the rejection a satisfying experience, you lay the foundation for what can be a life-long advocate of the business.

Respond to all your emails:

If someone has put in the time to sit down and write you an email, you owe it to them to write them something back. If it has been longer than a week you need to go back and tell them you are sorry. Then pick up where you left off and continue the conversation.

Till next time…

We hope this podcast episode has given you valuable insight into listening to your customers and tips on how to engage with them. As always, we are committed to your success and we believe in your mission.