It’s no secret that social media is one of the best ways, if not the singular best way to connect with customers in real-time and create real relationships. But if your business is new to social media, or you have a significant traditional presence and need to figure out how to push customers and prospects online to social media, here are four offline to online social media strategies to help you get started.
Direct Mail to Online
If you work in the real estate industry, the non-profit sector, or any other business that relies on flyers and other direct mail staples for generating new business, then you need to create a way to translate those direct mail pieces to social media buzz. A great way to do this is by using your direct mail and your flyers strategically to give recipients a specific action item to follow to engage them on social media. For example, you can use direct mail to publicize a giveaway or contest, and tell recipients that they can enter by finding your company on Facebook (or Instagram), following, and completing any other desired actions. That way, you prompt them to go online to find and follow your company for the long-term and increase social media exposure for future offers.
Another fun strategy that works particularly well with ecommerce and retail to drive customers online to social media platforms is encouraging the creation of UGC, or user-generated content. With this strategy, after a customer buys your product, you send them prompts or incentives to then go online, and onto social media platforms, to share unique pictures of them using, wearing or promoting your product. Users love this because it gives them a chance to show off their unique personality, show off their recent purchase, and connect with the brand from whom them purchased a product from.
Here’s an example: say your company sells eyeglasses, like Firmoo.com. After a customer purchases a paid of glasses from you, you can include a delivery postcard, or put them through an email sequence that encourages them to snap a picture of them wearing their new glasses and share it on social media with a specific hashtag, in addition to tagging your company. This will help increase brand awareness and act as a credibility booster of your brand to their friends and family network.
Another way to encourage customer UGC and engagement on social media is through in-store and pre-purchase UGC. Many brick and mortar retailers are capitalizing on the preference of customers to try on clothes in store in dressing rooms, and encouraging customers to snap photos are they are trying on new items and share them on social media. Many retailers even hang signs or instructions in dressing rooms, telling customers which hashtags to use, or what handle to tag to spread the word! You can even turn these in-store UGC snaps into some sort of contest, where a select user is featured for their awesome content. Anything to make your customers and prospective customers feel special and appreciated will help create a lasting, emotional connection.
Another tactic for driving customers from in-store and offline to social media platforms online is leveraging your store receipts. This tactic involves some proactive participation and prompting by store employees and checkout clerks, but not much. Or you can include flyers for the same purpose. After a customer makes a purchase in-store, use these promo materials to offer them a unique discount to purchase online if they engage with your brand on social media. Or maybe they have to visit a specific Facebook landing page to claim their coupon code – there are unlimited options!
There are so many ways to get customers to engage with your brand on social media, whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or some other platform. But one thing that all these strategies have in common is that they require you to think outside of the box. Think about what feels authentic to your brand, and what your customers appreciate. Going above and beyond to create a personalized experience will resonate with your customers long beyond purchase, and encourage them to create a lasting social relationship with your brand.