In a day and age of social media marketing schemes, it’s no wonder too many businesses are focused on boosting numbers, rather than seeking quality customers and retaining them. Sure, everyone has high hopes for increasing sales in the process, but chasing after the next viral wave is not the way to do it.
Know Them by Name
Do you know your best and most loyal customers by name? You should. By building a relationship with the customers who give you your bread and butter accounts, you help ensure their consistent patronage. If you get into a numbers game with customers and lose sight of the ones who are already keeping your company above high waters, then you may end up losing them. A bird in the hand, you know? By chasing after potential customers, you sacrifice your relationship to existing customers.
Know Them by Sight
Loyal and consistent customers value relationship and trust; they are committed and expect your full commitment in return. Your customers who are frequent, but not committed, are looking for quality and high standards; they may supply important orders, but they are more interested in timeliness, price and excellence than in growing and maintaining relationships.
Once you’ve established who your best, existing customers are, reward them. By offering even a small incentive, you remind them of their value to you and encourage them to think of you fondly. Offering a special sale or deal to your best customers can be used to encourage both your most loyal customers and your frequent buyers to continue doing business with you.
Referrals vs. Cold Calls
In marketing it is obvious that a cold call can’t compare to a referral; calling up a person out of the blue and expecting results is not nearly as effective as having a current customer recommend your services or products to a friend. In the same way, social media can be used to wildly stab in the dark for new customers, but it is much more effective for your business when used to encourage the loyal customers and seek their referrals.
By focusing on the loyal customers you have and providing them with online content that targets their interests, you continue to prove your value to them and encourage their loyal support. As your customers continue to value your services, they will spread the word on their own (and it’s important you do not pressure them in this). A study published by Nielson says:
The voices of your fellow cusomters can continue to be strongly heard when it comes to what they consider to be their trusted forms of advertising. Ninety-two percent of potential customers say they trust word-of-mouth or recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.
Stay on Target
So, don’t get caught in the hype of viral posts and massive followings. The people will come—focus instead on building a better audience rather than a bigger one. Look for ways to develop the loyal customers you already have and attract more of them.