When it comes to customer engagement, no tactic gets more attention than social media. There are some large, national companies who have thousands of followers who interact often with company representatives using a social media platform. In reality, however, the process is much more subdued for small-business owners in our area. In fact, it sometimes can seem as though the conversation with the public is pretty one-sided.

You shouldn’t take that to mean it’s a waste of time, though. Even if you are tweeting or posting or snapping your heart out with little response, there’s a good chance your followers still are reading your messages and absorbing the information, which could eventually lead to sales for you.

It’s also important to use the right social media platform to find the best customers for your business, organization or event. We addressed the different audiences in last month’s blog post here. Several of our clients are fairly active on their social media channels of choice, and they list these benefits as the reasons they make social media a priority:

  1. The conversations on social media give them new ideas for products, services or other aspects of their business they never really considered before.
  2. They can share photos of new merchandise, before-and-after shots, or even videos of how their businesses has helped in someone’s life.
  3. They post industry-specific info, such as wineries that suggest food pairings, restaurants that share recipes or graphic artists who display fresh typography options.
  4. They can demonstrate what type of experience a new client could expect to have if he or she hired the business.

La Muse Beauty Salon is a big fan of Instagram for showing before-and-after shots of client haircuts, colors and styles. Not only does the platform work great for posting photos, but followers who see something they like may be prompted to make an appointment to get something similar.

Winery Elizabeth Chambers Cellar also enjoys Instagram, and the business makes good use of Facebook as well. The company regularly posts information about events, special wine deals and new releases using its Facebook page, and they are able answer customer questions quickly on the site.

Pinterest is another useful social media platform for engaging with consumers, particularly for businesses that have a visual element such as wineries like Coehlo and Fairsing, photographers and even us at 237 Marketing + Web. Pinterest pinners are all about design, décor, graphics and other visuals, and they are looking to businesses on Pinterest for good ideas. One of the best things about connecting on Pinterest is that pinners’ boards hang around for a long time, meaning someone who doesn’t necessarily patronize your business today still could think about you in the future if they glance the pin they got from you.

Social media engagement tools are very effective for certain types of businesses. If you have the desire to interact with consumers and glean ideas from them, it’s time to start exploring the social media world. Just let us know if you need assistance.