Learn six ways to promote your brand and drive online traffic through providing great Customer Service? In this article, we will show you just how to do that! Have you ever noticed that people are more likely to participate in things if they are given an incentive? Well, if you haven’t, just know it is true. People like rewards, it is that simple.
What Does This Mean to You?
Because social media is such a huge deal nowadays, everyone wants to be a part of it, and they all want the same thing out of it: more business! So how on earth are you supposed to stand out when everyone, including your competition, is doing the exact same thing for the exact same reason?
In this endless frenzy of businesses jumping on the social media bandwagon, it is very easy to lose sight of certain things. One thing no one should lose sight of though is customer service. You may be thinking, “Customer service on Facebook?” Well, yes! Anytime you are representing your brand, customers and customer service must be what we never lose focus on.
So, how do you drive business, get people onto your website, and have more loyal followers/customers than your competition? Offer great customer service, and offer rewards. Rewards are an amazing way to inspire people to visit your pages.
Let’s check out a few examples so you can see what I mean…
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Everyone loves a good discount. But clipping coupons out of the Sunday paper is quickly falling out of fashion. What is the fad now? Online coupons! Discount websites, such as Groupon, are exploding in popularity. People just cannot get enough, and have come to not only love, but expect a certain percent off.
Well, if you are looking to drive traffic onto your website, this is a wonderful way to do that. Offer things that are only available online, and people will not be able to resist.
There are many different ways to go about this, so use your creativity. You could print codes out on receipts, send out a newsletter with discounts or reach out through social media; sign up with Groupon or other sites that offer similar services.
There are many ways to reach your customer base when offering discounts online. Just be sure to remember, as with everything online, you must be able to reach your audience the way that they want to be reached, so do not just use one avenue.
Make it Into a Game.
We all play games, every last one of us-- especially games we can win. So give your fans and followers something to go for!
Sites such as Gowalla, GetGlue and Foursquare, they entice users by making “checking-in” a game. They will reward you every time you “check-in” by giving you a badge or medal of sorts. Foursquare has a leader board which shows how many points you have collected compared to your friends and other connections. So every time you log on, you will see where you rank, and will probably do what you can to make sure you rank at least in the top three.
Easy! Start your own competition!
How you design the game is up to you, depending on your particular business and customer base. But give the people who visit your page or site a reason to come back—offer stickers or stamps (preferably branded) to reward your loyal visitors. Put some creative thought into this so you can make it as interesting as possible.
This method works very well for businesses that survive on their customers making frequent purchases. I am sure you have all experienced going to a place of business, typically restaurants and the like, and they hand you a card and say that if you get a certain amount of stamps your next burger is free. It is a similar concept, and it works very well.
For smaller companies, it may be easier to associate with a large brand with an established reputation for this type of reward system, like Foursquare.
Always keep in mind that the end goal is to creative a positive experience for customers, or potential customers. Be creative and engaging to stand out in their mind as the website that is the most fun, and rewarding, to visit.
Fifteen Minutes of Fame
This is a really fun way to promote your brand: include your customers in your advertising!
I know, the idea sounds a little wacky, but it really does work. Doritos did it by creating a campaign called Make an Ad, Make a Fortune, where customers made commercials for Doritos. The most popular commercial was broadcast on prime-time television!
Regardless of what form of advertising you use, offering people their moment in the limelight is always going to work.
Give clear instructions so everyone knows what is expected, and encourage everyone to get involved! That way you are not only promoting the brand, but building a customer base. Also, if you are still looking for ways to build your online traffic, have the vote take place on your website or social media site.
And the Grand Prize Goes To…
Contests, specifically content-creation contests, are an incredible way of promoting your brand. It’s a method that digitally involves customers, or potential customers, and gets businesses free publicity. Nothing bad about that!
A recent demonstration of this came in the form of Microsoft’s Cannes 2011 competition, which asked students to create a film showing the usefulness of a Windows 7 PC in a student’s life.
First you have to come up with a great incentive—a prize. Many people are very creative, but it takes a lot to bring that creativity out. So what you offer must be very tempting. For example, the Microsoft Cannes competition offered $8,000, a trip to Cannes for two, parties, and the works. Needless to say it got people off their couches and behind their cameras.
Granted, very few companies can compete with Microsoft as far as cash prizes go, but giving away free products or services will work well also. Get your team together and brainstorm! What do you want to ask people to create, what is the content, and what is their reward?
Areas for Improvement
What is the first brand that comes to mind when it comes to listening to customer feedback? Starbucks.
Starbucks designed a campaign to make the voices of the customers heard, called “My Starbucks Idea”. They do this by collecting ideas from their existing customers and allow others to vote on which they would most like to see implemented, and the most popular suggestions are.
Dell also has a similar campaign going called Dell’s Idea Storm, where, like Starbucks, they encourage customer input and actually use their ideas.
It’s So Simple
Have you ever noticed that sometimes we get going so fast, that every once and a while we forget about the niceties? Well, that should simply no longer be overlooked! One of the best customer rewards systems is to simply say, “Thank you!”
This reward system is meant to go, not only on its own, but with every other method of rewarding your customers we have discussed here today. The person who films the winning commercial should get a thank-you, as should the one who had the winning idea that brought more business into your establishment, and so on. A thank-you can even be as modest as sending a thank-you note. You want to leave the customer feeling as if they are appreciated—and they most certainly are.
After using one, or all, of these methods to drive your online customer base, what is next?
Get feedback. Feedback forms work very well. A great way to get the feedback and gathering more online followers at the same time is to put those feedback forms on your website or social media sites. But, whatever you do, do not forget to listen to these comments—they are no use to anyone as just air.
Your customers will know when you have listened, and feel more valued as a result. And that is what it is all about after all, is it not? Customer service!
DJ Heckes, CEO & Author
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