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The best ways to gain insights from your customer base

As business owners we are all searching for ways to understand our potential customers better.

After all, how can you truly connect with them when you aren’t really sure what lights their hearts on fire? This true connection at the end of the day can be the difference between success and failure in your business < and trust me, I do not say that lightly!

I truly believe that we are often missing the point of doing business and overlooking what marketing actually does for us. At the end of the day, you created this business to make money. Or, if you are a nonprofit, to get donations so you can further impact your cause. It’s easy to get caught up in the details of the admin tasks you have to manage or the employees who have seemed to take over your life, but let’s not forget that we exist as entrepreneurs to make a living. We just like to do it by putting our own little spin on things. 😜

However, so many of us stray away from one of our most impactful tools in order to make these end results a reality – social media!

Now, do I believe social media is the answer to all of your sales problems? Absolutely not!

You still have to have a great product or service, a fantastic customer experience, you have to have the right people working within your organization, pricing that makes sense, the list goes on and on. I believe it is the summation of these things working together that create success. Then, when you have an amazing foundation, marketing tools are used to get the word out there about what you offer. 

Not too long ago, I had a consultation with a small business owner who was struggling with social media. She was posting regularly and to be honest, the content was pretty good! Other than a few tweaks and a more targeted direction, the foundation was there. But she was struggling to gain traction with her social media efforts. After chatting for a bit, I realized there were two main things preventing her from gaining the success she wanted with social media. 

First, she wasn’t using social media as a listening tool. Now, if you just did a double take let me explain. Yes, I said social listening! At its root form social listening is the process of monitoring social media channels for mention of your brand, competitors, product, etc.. However, I like to take this just a step further and use the term social listening to expand to getting to know my ideal customer better. Are you actively paying attention to the people that “like” your page or “follow” you on social media to get to know them better? I encourage you to go to one of your social media feeds and click on the list that shows who follows you.

Click through a few people and look at the following things:

  • Would you consider them in your ideal customer base? If yes, YAY! If no, let’s skip them and move on to someone who is. Sometimes we end up following pages that aren’t necessarily right for us and this is no different with the followers on your page.
  • Once you have found someone ask yourself:
    • What do they do?
    • What area do they live in?
    • What hobbies are they into?
    • Why do you think they were drawn to your business page?
  • Then take a peek at a few of the posts they have made recently:
    • What topics stand out as important to them?
    • Have they complained about something recently that you have a solution for?
    • How do they phrase the posts that they write? Are you writing content in a way that is appealing to them?

You see, right there on your smartphone is the most AMAZING tool for getting to know your customer base. You can truly stop guessing at what type of content to create for them, the answers are often right there in front of you.

The next thing this business owner was struggling with was engagement. She was posting great content, but failing to reply to messages in her inbox on social accounts, comments on posts that were often full of questions about her product/service and following up with people who have inquired about a purchase. I can’t stress enough how important these things are! Yes, social media is a place where you post a lot of content, but even more than that, it’s a customer service tool. This is a place to show your potential customers how you will handle questions when they come up or returns if something shows up broken. This is important to them and it should be to you too!

Here are a few tips for engagement if you aren’t really getting any on your accounts:

  • Be the first to reach out! Find a potential customer and comment on something that they posted.
  • Send someone a private message asking them if you could answer any questions for them.
  • Go live! I know, video can be scary but it is a great way to make a deeper connection with people that can lead to more comments. 

What I see so often is business owners failing to take a part in their social media. This has such a trickle effect! If you aren’t listening to what people are saying about your industry, competitors, brand, etc… online then how can you be sure you are producing products or services that are a great fit for them? If you aren’t using social media as a tool to get to know your potential customers better, how can you be sure you are creating the type of experiences that they are looking for? And if you aren’t having conversations with your customers online, how will you make deeper connections with them that lead to referrals and reviews?

It’s never too late to show up fully for your business by taking a bigger part in your social media! What an incredible tool we have been gifted with. Use it to your advantage friends!

xoxo,

Crystal

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