Telling customers about what is going on with your business and the industry as we discussed in Part 1 is all well and good, but it’s worthless without using them to convince customers to take a chance on your or your product.  The B2C Blog did a great article about the power of words to compel customers to follow through.

The purpose of Social Media marketing (in contrast to more traditional print or outdoor advertising) is to create engagement.  Engagement is the moment when a customer or lead chooses to interact with you in some way.  The key is trying to control the way they do it.

Part 2 – The PULL

Once you’ve established your Content Calendar and you’ve got an idea of when you want to talk to your customers then you must determine how you’re going to pull them in to engage with you.

The simplest version might be a post from a Retail business to Facebook:

Example:

We’ve got new looks from Gucci, Fendi, and more.  Click the link below to see all the latest fashion.

This is, in essence, what distinguishes Social Media Marketing from traditional advertising.  If you fail to include the “Pull” or as we’ll talk about in Part 3 the “Action” then you’ve missed the boat and you’re just firing wildly into the darkness hoping to hit a target.

Understanding your audience and learning from them is the key to not only a successful marketing strategy but a successful business.  When you started your business you knew (hopefully) that there was demand for your product or service.  Over time you learn customer preferences and adapt your business model accordingly.  Likewise, Social Media offers an excellent opportunity to learn what things you’re posting are really making an impact on your customer.  Tools like Google Analytics (free) and Hootsuite ($20/month) help monitor these things and will help inform your decisions about how to craft your message to other, new customers in the future.

If you fail to include the “Pull” or the “Action” then you’ve missed the boat and you’re just firing wildly into the darkness

Hootsuite’s Blog has a great article on this concept.

There are times when your purpose will not be to explicitly pull the customer to your site, but rather to pull them into a discussion or to use them to help spread a message.  You see this most commonly with the “Like and Share to win” type contests, but the efficacy of these contests is highly debatable and I personally don’t recommend them.  A more effective use might be to praise or congratulate a customer or employee.  You can seriously humanize and build positive awareness of your company and brand when you do things like publicly celebrate your employee’s awards, commendations, and growth.  A Tweet that asks for help to share and congratulate someone on your staff for achieving an industry certification does double duty: it creates the “Warm Fuzzies” towards your business and is probably easily understandable by those who view it and will help spread the message of your business.

In short, you must make sure that when you’re using Social Media that you develop the customer from more than just an “eyes-on” viewer to a “brain-on” engaged lead.

What you do with them once you’ve snared them is what we’ll cover in Part 3 – The Action