How to Turn Your Social Media Presence into Profit

There you are with an active Facebook page, a growing Twitter following, a healthy amount of email subscribers, and good reviews on Yelp. While you may have great online visibility, the main reasons for being active on social media is to engage customers and grow your business.

But if all of those “likes,” retweets and comments aren’t generating new business, here are three questions to ask yourself.

1. Are your messages focused? You may offer a lot of products and services but if you focus on your differentiators, you’ll be able to demonstrate your expertise and dominate a market segment.

For example, a retailer specializing in high-end kitchen gadgets can show customers how to use the latest tools, offer cooking classes, and write about topics such as “what to look for when buying carving knives.” These actions will draw in customers looking for specific kitchen tools and while they’re shopping, they’ll discover other products offered by the retailer.

2. How responsive are you? It’s human nature to respond to the most positive and the most negative comments yet the majority of your customers are going to fall in the middle of those two extremes.

Knowing this, you should always respond when a customer engages with you – even if they’re making a small gesture such as a "like" or retweet. Your actions can be as simple as thanking them for sharing your content, responding to their comments, or sending a brief, personalized note when they subscribe to your newsletter.

3. Have you asked for referrals? When a satisfied customer raves about your business, that’s the time to ask if they wouldn’t mind letting their friends know about you or if they’d be willing to provide a quote for your website or newsletter.

As a more proactive tactic, identify your long-standing customers and vocal fans and ask if they wouldn’t mind helping spread the word by forwarding articles from your newsletters or commenting on your Facebook page.

You can also create a special offer for your most active customers. For example, hold a private event featuring a sneak peek at a new product line or menu item or a discount on service when your customers bring a friend along.

Remember that many social media participants read more than they post. Yet if you are focused, responsive and transparent about growing your business, you’ll be able to transform your online presence into profit.

Steve Robinson is Constant Contact’s small business expert in Illinois and Wisconsin. A knowledgeable marketing expert with 30 years of experience, Steve has helped thousands of small businesses, associations, and nonprofits develop and implement effective email marketing, social media and online survey strategies. A popular speaker and educator, Steve gives small businesses and nonprofits the tools, techniques, and strategies they need to grow and expand their business and to maximize the power of relationship marketing. Steve’s experience in small business ownership, business development, sales, and fundraising help associations, small businesses and nonprofits achieve success.

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