Dear Socially Stephanie,
I have a business where I make custom made clothing for men. I would like to increase my sales this year, and would like to grow my existing client base and make them my raving fans. How can I do that?
Fan-Friendly in Freemont
You are definitely on to something here. As a business, you are only as good as your referrals. The more referrals you receive, the more sales you can make. It's a pretty simple solution, really. And it all relies on the power of word-of-mouth, or as I like to say, word-of-finger.
With a stagnant social media presence, it could be a challenge to get your existing clients active socially and spreading the gospel. Before you get discouraged, listen here. It's doable. Just remember: it's all about the REACH. REACH is my acronym for turning stagnant fans into full-blown groupies.
Use REACH to increase reach. But what does that mean? I'll explain.
Phase one is all about the re-engagement. Your fans have been inactive regarding you on social media because they didn't realize you were active. And the truth is that you probably weren't too active anyway. Fans follow suit: if you are active, they will be active. If you are passive, they too will be passive. So, let's get off your social media couch and invite them to party. You can re-engage them in a few different ways. An email letting them know you are social can start it off. Or my favorite way to re-engage is through advertising. But not just any advertising, super highly targeted advertising on Facebook and Twitter to your customer list. Not sure how to do that? Read this.
Okay, re-engagement is on. Now let's start talking about the E of REACH: empower. Now that they know you exist, it's time to empower them to start spreading the word for you. This can be done through a contest or an incentive, such as a discount. On Instagram, it could be done through a tagging campaign, where you encourage your fans to tag their friend that would like what you are showcasing. Simple, right? It is. You just have to ask your clients to get involved and many will.
The next step is to acknowledge. This is where the fun begins and the relationships bloom. Once your clients are creating all this content about you, it's time to let them know that you care. You have to acknowledge them first and foremost. Reply to them, retweet them and put them on a pedestal. Believe me and do what it takes to make your fans and clients feel extra special. When you do, they will continue to share because they want that acknowledgement from you. Give it to them and watch it grow.
Which takes me to the next phase: creating fan envy. By showcasing your fans and giving them those 15 minutes of fame, other people will start to get involved so they too can get that attention. Regram their photos on Instagram, talk about your most active fans on Facebook, reach out on Twitter and make them feel popular, loved and even Internet famous. This turns your regular fans into super fans and the results are brilliant. Need some inspiration? Watch Jaguar USA on social media. They have the magic wand.
You following? Good! Because we are on the last step: honor. Honor your fans and customers and, more importantly, your word, by sticking to it. Did you say you'd give a discount? Do it! Did you offer something free? Make sure you deliver. This is the most important aspect because it gives you online integrity and credibility. And that will keep your fans coming back for more.
Remember, it's all about the REACH. You can do it! Good luck!
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Please email [email protected] and let Stephanie help you solve your social quandaries, queries, and boondoggles. (Questions may be edited for length and clarity.)