Your Loyal Customers are Your Best Source of New Business

Your Loyal Customers are Your Best Source of New Business

By Gail Goodman, Chief Executive Officer, Constant Contact

Want to know where to find your next new customer? Take a look at your current customers. Thanks to tools like social media, your loyal and passionate customers can easily share their great experience or your compelling content with their friends, family, and extended network.

Instead of talking one-to-one, consumers are now talking social, so the more you can empower your customers to talk about you, the greater the likelihood that some of those people are going to check you out. Here are three ways to enable and encourage that discussion.

1. Be there or be square. I'm going to assume that you already have a Facebook Page and/or a Twitter handle. If you don't, what are you waiting for? Now you need to make sure your customers know you're there. Any time you come in contact with customers, you should mention your social media presence. Include links in your newsletters and in the signature of your regular email account. Talk it up at networking events and open houses. If you have a store, office, or donation site that gets a lot of visitors, put up a sign announcing your presence on these sites. That's how I learned Idylwilde Farms, one of my favorite businesses, was on Twitter, for example.

2. Have something to share. Content is king on social sites. The content you put on these sites does not have to be exclusive (though that helps). You can link to articles from your newsletters and blog posts, or to other articles you find on the web that your fans and followers would be interested in. For example, a natural food store might share an article about the seasonal flu something about foods and natural ways to prevent the flu, perhaps. There's a good chance that would get shared with friends quickly. Similarly, a nonprofit organization could post an article about the causes it supports, or inspirational success stories about how your work has helped others.

3. Include a "social call to action" in every email newsletter. Don't rely solely on social media icons and buttons to get readers to visit your social media outposts. Entice readers with a link to a hot conversation you want to continue on Twitter or Facebook (or another discussion destination). Then take the great feedback you get and use that as content for your next email newsletter (thus completing your communications circle). You can also use your email newsletter to promote an exclusive contest or survey you're featuring on Facebook. It's important to take advantage of anything that will open up a new area for your business.Social media is one place where a small piece of content can have a big result.

To learn more about how to use social media and email marketing to support your sales, click here.

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