The Propane Education & Research Council put together seven tips to help you succeed in growing your customer base with social media. Your customers and potential customers are active on social media now; they are following companies, celebrities and organizations. Use this guide to help you understand how to reach them while building your brand and avoiding common mistakes. Social media is in a constant state of change. Staying up to date on the latest trends and platforms is imperative for success.
- Create inviting social media profiles.
There are a few simple ways to create more welcoming social media accounts. The most obvious, but sometimes forgotten, step is to set your account and its posts to public. This ensures users can easily find you, interact with you, and share your content with their friends and followers. If a potential customer is searching for a local propane provider, a public and up-to-date profile can help generate a lead. In fact, “propane near me” is a common Google search term, so it is vital to make sure your website and social media accounts are current, and to accurately list location and hours of operation.
- Keep consistent with your brand identity.
It’s important your profile picture and layout are visually distinctive. Use a universal photo, such as a logo, and common theme throughout to maintain a consistent brand identity. If you have a company website, for example, your social accounts should be consistent with that.
- Be active, human, and helpful.
Social media is an open line of communication between a company and its customers, and if used effectively, it allows businesses to address concerns and share information instantly. Responding to customers on social media in a personable and timely manner will allow you to build stronger relationships with your current customers, and gives new customers a look at your attention to customer service. Whether it’s replying to positive feedback, questions, or customer service issues, avoid putting your social media accounts into autopilot or using dry and impersonal language. Instead, be sincere, friendly, and alert.
- Interact with other brands and companies.
While the benefit of interacting directly with customers through social media is obvious, it’s equally as advantageous to interact with other businesses and organizations. This could include equipment dealers, local businesses who are also customers, or perhaps a non-profit organization your business supports. Connecting your business with other organizations has the additional benefit of strengthening relationships with key partners.
- Share rich content.
The Propane Education & Research Council, along with many other brands and industry associations, offers engaging content and sales tools that marketers can download and use to grow gallons.
- Avoid common mistakes.
One of the most common mistakes on Twitter is starting a tweet with a username. When you start a tweet with an “@” it means that only the sender, the person mentioned and anyone who follows them both will see the tweet in their timeline. If you really want to begin your tweet with a username, preface with a period before the “@” symbol. Ideally, you would use a different sentence structure to avoid beginning with a period. Twitter’s 140-character limit challenges any known laws of grammar, however.
- Leverage trending topics.
Facebook and Twitter trends can be found on side panels of either platform’s homepage. Trends are often popular news sites or relevant and timely subject matter that users are increasingly talking about. From a content creation standpoint, trending topics give companies insight into what consumers are already talking about and most willing to engage with, therefore giving them the tools they need to target consumers and join in the conversation. In order to do this, look at the topics that are popular amongst friends or in your area. Watch for what’s current in the news and any events that might be coming up to gain exposure. It’s always best to see where the conversation is going with a trend before jumping on board and making it a part of your social media strategy. In general, avoid engaging with negative trends or celebrity gossip.