Across the Board

Blog on e-business and online payments.

How Social Media Can Bring More Customers

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Making your business trustworthy is not a chore but an art form that everyone should be eager to take on. Most people think that once their SSL and PCI are in check you don’t really need much more. However, most people fail to realize that so far they’ve gained the trust of banks, institutions and payment gateways, but what about customers? Most customers have no idea what PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) means what SSL (Secure Sockets Layer – This allows for data/message confidentiality) does.

So, what’s left? Making your business known, reliable, and open. There is a rumor going around that social media is pretty much the death of a business because people bash, whine and make a business look unreliable. But as the saying goes – don’t believe everything you hear! Social media can make your business sink but it can also make your business the IT business to be a customer of!

The statistics

To start off we have to understand at least three numbers behind social commerce:

  1. 74% of people say that they rely on social networks to guide their purchase decisions
  2. 55% customers actually share their purchases on social networks
  3. The number of businesses that say their Facebook page is critical to their business has increased by 75% in 2012 alone

Basically – the people of the internet rule your website. Every purchase is accounted for on social media sites, the more people talk about it the more hype it gets and possibly sales. If you’re into more social commerce info visit StartupsFM Rise of Social Commerce to view their extensive statistics.

The basics

We’ve covered this subject before but it’s worth repeating: hashtags, contests, and good social etiquette can get your business far. To know what is good we have to first take a look at what is bad:

Social meltdown

Most of us already heard of Amy’s Baking Company… if you didn’t maybe it’s better that you DO get to know this business. They were featured on Kitchen Nightmare’s and weren’t eager to change their ways. Granted this isn’t an e-commerce business but it is a business that took their tears to social media which any of us could have done. Never, ever, ever do that. It is more than OK to apologize and it is more than expected to admit to faults and promise changes, even more – make those changes come to life! It is never OK to criticize and go on angry rampages on your social media, it makes it look like you’re faulty, hiding something, and your business loses trust.

Remember, if a customer is not happy and you do not handle their issue right away and in a respectful manner it’s more than likely that they will bash you on their social media. Even if you do get a negative comment here and there, respond and let your customer know you care. Maybe offer a discount, look into the problem, search for a way to make a change. Of course you have to filter what really needs change and what needs an apology and some sort of a bonus.

Social uprising

Whether you’re selling clothes, gardening tools, apps, or car services you need to engage, engage, engage! Practicology rounded up five examples of businesses that are doing it right. If you’re selling clothes or other physical products why not let your customers tweet a twitter picture card? Their friends will instantly see a picture of your product of their Twitter feed.

Have a Facebook page? link it in your store, maybe add a “share my new purchase” product or write a simple “Like our services? Like our page too!”, the possibilities are endless ;) If you’re selling clothing or accessories maybe create a fun Pinterest page where people can repin your products, once some sees that more people are repining a picture of a shirt they will get interested and automatically search for the place that sells that shirt – and if you have a Pinterest account, they will be only a click away from your store!

The go getters

Social media gives you the potential to create a new way of connecting with your customer. No business is too boring to be funny. If a plumber can have a social media page where heposts comic strips with funny jokes about plumbing, why can’t you post memes with your co-worker and a funny quote encouraging to buy your new product? Throw in a contest where the person who thinks of the coolest quote for your new shirt and that same person wins that shirt for free. If you’re offering services, maybe let a holiday be a reason to give a free month of services to new customers?

Engagement is trust, it means you want others to know about you and you are present in the media looking out for new customers. You are not afraid, you are a go getter! A business that is eager to talk to their customers, give away freebies, get in touch with their customers – ergo create a lasting relationship.

Picture credit: Mike Merill and Steve Voght

Journalist and painter turned content marketing specialist at PayLane. This hat wearing and art loving creature nerds around any and all social media sites. Constantly researching and looking for new ways to improve your business stats and campaigns using social media marketing. This Sherlock Holmes of news, focuses on photojournalism studies in her free time. You name it, Sara will find it.

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