How You Build Trust with Your Vendors Through Social Media

As small business owners, we specialize in a certain type of product or service. It doesn’t make sense to try to become an expert on everything. Therefore, it’s wise to outsource areas of our business that we aren’t an expert in. These vendors become necessary to the running of our businesses. That makes it important to nurture these relationships and keep our vendors happy.

How can we build trust with these vendors using social media?

Testimonials

The best way to thank a vendor you are happy with is to go online and leave them a review! It can be tough to get good reviews in all the relevant places so if you want to go the extra mile leave a review on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp and any other relevant channel.

Case Studies

When you are putting together case studies to post on your website and social media, don’t forget to include those vendors that helped make those projects successful. The SEO boost is nice and the gratitude from your vendor will make it a worthy endeavor. Share the case studies with your vendors. They will probably be more than happy to share that content on their own website and social media.

Share Offers

Another thing you can do to support your vendors is to pay attention to the offers, specials, discounts, and launches they are posting on their social networks so that you can share those deals with your own audience. With any luck, they’ll not only be super happy with that but they may feel reciprocal and share your offers as well.

Your vendors are easy to forget in the hustle and bustle of running your own business but these relationships are part of your success.

 

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

How You Build Relationships with Your Audience Through Social Media

When social media marketing works well, it establishes a personal connection between the brand and their audience. Small businesses that only post when they have something to sell, will find that their followers don’t engage with their content.

These business owners often go out and tell other businesses that ‘social media doesn’t work.’

The truth is that social media marketing doesn’t work for brands that are only in it for themselves. It doesn’t work when a business owner spends zero time thinking about what their audience actually wants, enjoys, or is interested in seeing in their feeds.

How can you actually build a relationship with your audience using social media and make social media marketing work for you?

Create Content for Your Audience

There’s an overwhelming amount of content being uploaded to social media every minute. That’s a lot of noise. How do you get your social media posts seen by the right people?

First, you need to know who your target audience actually is. Because, to truly reach them, you have to create content they actually enjoy. That means the majority of your social media posts are not only geared towards the people you want as clients but that the content also aims to educate, entertain, inform, or inspire your audience.

This works best if you actually have a conversation with your target audience and ask them what type of content they consume. What do they enjoy on social media? Ask them directly, what would you like to see from my small business?

Engage with Your Audience

The second way to ensure that social media marketing won’t work for your business is to post and leave. Social media schedulers allow us to batch and schedule content months in advance. However, if you aren’t regularly checking for engagement and then responding to your audience, they will quickly learn that you aren’t present and they’ll stop engaging with your content.

Social media is meant to be social. You can’t just post content and then forget about it. You have to be present for your audience. Ideally, you are starting valuable conversations with them on a regular basis.

User-Generated Content

The most powerful content you can create comes from having interacted with your audience first. Polls, surveys, engagement questions, and social media conversations are all super valuable when it comes to creating content your audience actually wants. Don’t undervalue these exchanges. Figure out how to repurpose them or use them to create quality posts for your people. This is called user-generated content.

Social media marketing can be a highly effective way to reach and connect with your target audience. The key is in understanding how, and why, social media marketing works so that you can build your platforms correctly and share content that actually matters with your followers.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

Setting Goals with Your Client Retention

As small business owners, we are always focused on building relationships with people in hopes that those connections will convert into paying clients at some point. What many of us fail to do, however, is to create a plan and be intentional about nurturing our current client relationships. We all know that it costs less money to retain a current client than to onboard a new one and yet, we struggle to build a client retention plan or process into our yearly task list. If you look at client retention during goal setting, you can become specific about how you will love on your clients and can then calendar out those goals to ensure that client appreciation doesn’t fall through the cracks.

Building Trust & Loyalty

There are some obvious things that every business must do in order to build trust and earn loyalty from their clients. The first step in client retention is ensuring your current processes are already set up to make your clients happy.

  • Communication – Each client will prefer a different level of communication. Have a conversation during the onboarding process about how the customer prefers to communicate and how much communication they think they’ll need. This will help ensure you are meeting those targets and generating satisfaction in the exchange.
  • Keep Your Promises – Be realistic and honest about expectations regarding cost, timeline and delivery. Set expectations early and don’t change things unless you have to and you have properly communicated those changes in advance.
  • Check-Ins – Assumptions are counterproductive to a successful business. Schedule regular check-ins with your clients to discuss what is (and isn’t) working, adapt what you can, and really listen to their pain points and challenges. A good team member wants everyone to be successful!

Client Appreciation

Client Appreciation is the process of doing something on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly, or annually) to give back to your clients or show them how much they are appreciated. It can be as simple as a monthly call just to check on them and see how they are doing (and how you can be of service) but remember: no sales on client appreciation calls! Handwritten letters or cards work great as well.

Some companies give holiday gifts or send their clients tickets to events or host events throughout the year to love on their clients in person. What you do is less important than making it a priority to do something for your clients on a regular basis.

Types of Client Retention Goals

It probably wasn’t difficult to convince you that creating client retention goals would have a beneficial turnaround for your business. Where does a small business owner start? Well, anything you do that improves the customer experience is worth doing. Here is a list of ideas to inspire you or jumpstart your brainstorming process.

  1. Create an onboarding program for new clients.
  2. Schedule regular client appreciation touches.
  3. Have a plan for getting regular feedback from clients.
  4. Create a customer loyalty program.
  5. Develop a social responsibility program to give your customers a way to make an even bigger impact.
  6. Invest in better customer service tools and processes.
  7. Improve processes to make things more convenient and easier to use.
  8. Highlight your clients on your social media marketing channels.
  9. Collaborate with your clients on an event, project, or social giveback initiative.
  10. Make it a point to talk about and recommend your clients often.

We can’t wait to see what you come up with this year to really champion your clients and nurture those ever-important relationships!

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

Setting Goals with Your Networking

I’m a big believer in the power of networking to grow your business. However, having overdone this myself, I also know how important it is to be intentional about where you network, how often you network, and how to get the most return for the time, energy, money, and effort spent. Here are some things to think about as you are planning your networking strategy for your small business this year.

Timing

Before you start making big plans to get out there and meet people this year, take some time to really think about how much you can handle. It’s easy to burn yourself out on networking everywhere, making this a less effective strategy for your business than it could be if you approach it realistically.

Where in your calendar do you have wiggle room to attend networking events? How often can you realistically be away from your business without it suffering? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Your energy will be impacted differently, depending on your answer to that last question.

Before you seek out the right networking groups, be certain you have an idea of what you can handle. This will help your networking efforts be more successful. Then you can jot down your networking goal of attending X number of networking events each month.

Picking the Right Group

Just as important as factoring in your time and energy, find the right group(s) is essential. There are plenty of options available from large, national groups to local meet-up opportunities. Each group will have their own schedule, leadership, costs, and set of rules to follow. Some groups are more formal with lots of expectations and rules because they are dedicated to getting results for their members. Others are quite a bit more informal with less rules and little to no cost, but your return on your time can vary. If you aren’t sure which networking groups to try this year, visit a few. Also, ask around. Other small business owners you know will probably have recommendations on groups they love to network in!

How You Network

Turns out that people approach networking differently. There is a traditional way of meeting and connecting with people and that works because it doesn’t surprise anyone. It’s expected that you offer to go on a coffee date or phone call to get to know one another better. In some groups, you are required to do a few of these each month. However, as networking progresses, people are finding that being generous, listening, be specific about their ask (instead of just delivering an elevator speech), and creating an easy way for people to say yes to you may be more effective than setting up a ton of get-to-know-you meetings. As you are identifying your networking goals, take some time to get creative and find out how you can stand out and do things differently as a networker.

Being Intentional

I’ve found, from talking to other businesses who regularly network, that it can be quite effective to set goals for each networking event. A tough goal to reach is to sign up 2 clients at each event. There are a lot of variables involved and most people need a chance to get to know you better and build trust before they are ready to sign up for your product or service. A reachable goal, however, could be to introduce yourself to 3 new people at each event. It could also be to arrange 2 coffee dates a month. How about practice your pitch 5 times this month? By getting intentional with what you want to accomplish, you can walk away from each networking event knowing that you are making progress towards your networking goals for the year.

I love networking. I truly consider it one of the most valuable tools in my business-building arsenal. I love networking so much that I now manage my own chapter of WEBO in Southeast Denver. If you are seeking a group of passionate, motivated women entrepreneurs and business owners on this side of town, I hope you’ll check us out here.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.


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