Welcome to The Social Smarty Show, your weekly podcast for social media marketing tips, tactics and practical digital marketing advice. Let's get you taking real action to grow your online audience, build connections and your business. I'm your host, Jodine McIntyre. Think of me as your digital marketing coach, cheerleader and wingwoman all rolled into one. Grab some of my social media marketing know-how for free www.socialsmarty.com/freebies
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Welcome to episode number five. In this episode, I will be sharing with you my suggestions on how you can get your clients or your customers talking about your business online. Just imagine if your clients and your customers were out there talking about your brand on their social media channels. They might be sharing their experiences, telling their networks what a dream you are to work with, the amazing results they've achieved, or even just how fantastic your products are. Pretty powerful, right? I mean, think of it this way: would you rather a business told you how amazing their products or services were and said you should buy from me? Or would you rather hear it from those who are actually using the products or services? If this sounds like music to your ears keep listening because it's actually easier than you may think. But before I dive into the specific tactics, I just want to make mention of the difference between having someone talk about your business online because they want to and having someone talk about your business online because they are paid to. So when you pay someone to talk about your business, this is called influencer marketing.
And it doesn't matter how big their following is. If they are receiving a benefit, either payment or maybe free product to talk about you, then this needs to be disclosed as an ad. It needs to be obvious to the viewer of the content, whoever is seeing that content, that this is actually advertising. And there are laws and rules around this. But what I'm talking to you about today is when a client or customer talks about you online because they choose to, they're not getting paid. It's not influencer marketing.
Now, both what we're talking about today and influencer marketing, they are both called User Generated Content. In the social media world, we call it UGC. So in other words, it's content created by the users, not the business themselves. So now that we have that clear, let's dive into the four ways to get your clients or customers talking about you online.
Now, number one might seem a little bit obvious, little bit simple, but it is to ask them. Now, it seems like this is still a real afterthought for so many businesses, but if I'm working with a service provider, I expect to be asked to leave a public review. Usually it's Google or maybe it's Facebook. Very rarely is it a LinkedIn Recommendation, but it's not a surprise to me. Like, I don't find it surprising when I receive an email or maybe an SMS asking me if I can take a moment or two to leave a review for the business.
And when I do leave a review, I am publicly endorsing that business. What is more powerful than that? That business not only has my public endorsement attached to their profile, but they can also repurpose that. They can use it as content to share across their other social media platforms. The other day I was leaving an appointment and the service provider that I had been working with, he actually asked me in person, face to face if he could send me a quick SMS with a link in it to leave a Google review. I mean, how could I say no? He literally flicked me that message as I was walking to the car, later that night when I'm sitting in front of the telly, I clicked on the link in the message and boom, they had a new review. How simple is that?
Now, there are ways that you can automate this into your business so that it doesn't get missed. But it really is essential to add this as a step in your customer service journey, the way that someone works with you.
Now, for product-based businesses, I want your social media links on your packaging. Now, bonus points if you keep your username consistent across both Facebook and Instagram, it makes a much tidier message on your packaging. But I also want like a little postcard in my package. So if I order online, I want to receive my package and I want that little postcard in there encouraging me to share about my experience with your products online. Now, it can be really on brand, that little postcard, it can have a little personality on it, if you want. Something that I can leave on my desk, or my kitchen counter, that's just going to remind me to share about your product when I have a chance. Or I could even give that card to a friend or a family member as like an offline recommendation. Like, "here you go, try out this product".
Now, I still receive packages from retailers that don't have any mention of their social media and their packaging, like literally one last week. And it was quite a well known brand that usually is very slick with their marketing. It just seems wild to me in this day and age.
Tactic number two is offer an incentive. Now, I'm not talking about paying people to leave you a review. You might find that that kind of breaks some rules, but I mean offering something of value in exchange for a social media share. For example, you might offer a $50 voucher each month and anyone who tags you in a post is automatically in the drawer for that $50 voucher. Now, obviously it's important to make sure people are aware of this so again, you can pop details on that week card and include it when you're posting out products. You can add it to the bio on your Instagram account or like the additional information section on your Facebook page, you can mention in newsletters. You could even set up like an automated email that goes out post purchase. Have it set up so that once someone has purchased from your website, in a week's time, they've had time to try the product, they've received the product, obviously they've tried it. And then an email pops into their inbox inviting them to share about you on social media or leave you a review. You'd be surprised how many of your clients and customers are happy to share when you make it easy for them and when you remind them.
Now that brings us to suggestion number three. Now, this is specifically for those businesses who have a physical location so somewhere that your customers or your clients visit or maybe you're running an event. Now I want you to create a 'social media moment'. Now, I first heard this term when I was watching a show about Airbnb properties. So there was this expert who came on and he was helping the owners of these properties kind of revamp them to get more bookings and make more money. And he had each of the owners create a space in or around their property that was like the ultimate backdrop for photos. So think something so cool that you just couldn't help but stand in front of it and snap a picture for the 'Gram.
If you jump on Instagram, if you've got your phone on you now grab Instagram and grab your phone and open up Instagram. Search for the hashtag #kynd K-Y-N-D. You'll spot this instant pink wall. It's iconic and you'll know exactly what I mean. People love taking photos in front of that pink wall. So now let's think about your own business. Is there somewhere that you could place a really cool chair with some fun signage behind or some props? Could you commission a mural or like a fun piece of artwork for a wall? Could you stick decals on a mirror? If you have changing rooms or bathrooms, maybe like a fake frame with your logo on the corner, how can you create this space where people are just drawn to take selfies and then share them online?
Now, tactic number four, publicly recognize those who do share. Now, this one is really easy to do. All you need to do is if someone does talk about you online, ask their permission to share that content and then use it everywhere. You can include photos or videos on your website and your own social media channels. You could share reviews or text posts in your newsletters, but also on your website, your social media channels. The thing about this is that when others see people being featured by you, it actually prompts them or encourages them to do the same. Particularly if you have a large following.
Now, I personally know the buzz of having a brand share my content. It's pretty cool. It's a really neat feeling. So if you're using Facebook and Instagram, you might actually have some content there that you can share that you didn't even realize. So what I want you to do is to jump into Business Suite - if you're not quite sure how to get there, it's just business.facebook.com. Once it's loaded, I want you on the left hand side to click on Posts and Stories and then I want you to click on Mentions and Tags and there could be some gold waiting there for you to use already. Remember to ask permission. Flick a message to the person who's shared and just ask if they would mind if you use that content.
So there we have it. Four ways to get your customers or clients talking about you online. So just to recap, we have number one, ask them - the most obvious. Number two is offer an incentive. Number three, create a social media moment. And number four, publicly recognize those who do share.
Now, it goes without saying that we really want our customers and clients sharing the positive experiences, right? We don't want them to be sharing the negative stuff. But if they do share something that's maybe a little bit negative or not quite so positive, you really can't put your head in the sand and ignore it. You need to both acknowledge and address the criticism. Now you might notice that you're having the same thing come up over and over again and that means you have a problem. You have something that you need to fix. Something could be better with your product or your service. But if you just have the odd unhappy customer, it's just really important to respond to their post or their review publicly, if possible. Don't give excuses, so apologize, let them know how you want to put things right, basically. You might also need to reach out to them privately. So if it goes beyond just a little small criticism and you actually need to provide them with a refund or something like that, but remember, that person does have the ability to either edit or delete that post. So it's really in your best interest to put things right.
Thanks for listening, guys. If you haven't already, I would love for you to hit that subscribe or follow button. And if you've learned anything today and you feel the episode is worth sharing, I would love for you to share it with your friends, family, or maybe even your own online network. See what I did there? Stay social, guys.