17 Actionable Ways to Create Small Business Social Commerce

Never be done with things as life is a perpetual prototype. Small business social commerce. We receive many questions on whether to use being social in business is a ‘new age’ type of commerce. In our opinion, it clearly is not. Why, you may be wondering?  Well, in our opinion good business has had an element of being social since the beginning. The only thing new in small business social commerce is the expanded reach that a business has in our new age of the internet, digital happenings.

Related post: 9 Ways Subway Blew a Direct Response to Social Comment

 

I love finding brilliant social advertising creative that makes me wish I thought of it. And I especially love it, when it’s for a client that’s trying to make the world a better place. That’s what social marketing is all about. And because it’s only “sell” is to try to get us to change our behaviors or attitudes about something, it can be powerful when done well.

 

 What is social commerce?

 Social commerce seeks to develop and integrate business and social concepts with other approaches to influence behaviors that benefit individuals and communities for the greater good.

 

Although “social marketing” is sometimes seen only as using standard commercial marketing practices to achieve non-commercial goals, this is an oversimplification. The primary aim of social marketing is “social good”; while in “commercial marketing” the aim is primarily “financial”. This does not mean that commercial marketers cannot contribute to achievement of social good.

 

Why social commerce?

So what makes the concept of social commerce particularly important? Perhaps you’ve been doing your work quite effectively for years without ever even hearing the phrase. That’s actually pretty likely; the phrase was only coined about 25 years ago, though the concept is ageless.

 

There are three major advantages which suggest that social commerce is worthy of your consideration:

 

It helps you reach the target audiences you want to reach.

It helps you customize your message to those targeted audiences; and by doing so,

It helps you create greater and longer-lasting behavior change in those audiences.

 

What then is the bottom line? Social commerce is a good idea because it is effective.

 

social commerce
Social commerce.

Social commerce … it’s all about building relationships

Like making new friends? It is becoming the most important element of social commerce.

 

Creating positive experiences for building customer relationships often will take some serious thinking. But hopefully not at the expense of the little things you can do to build customer relationships. Such as what you may ask?

 

Simple ideas on consumer engagement starts with a foundation of little things that, when not done well, can make the more complex customer experience design actions a moot point.

 

Let’s examine a simple list of items for the best ways to being social that Digital Spark Marketing recommends to its clients:

 

Acknowledge that I am there

 You should do this as soon as you possibly can. Don’t make your customers frustrated by making them wait. If you are busy with another customer, inform them you will be with them shortly.

 

Be friendly

 Smile and introduce yourself. Wear a nametag and personalize it to help create meaningful conversation.

 

 Be knowledgeable

 Know all about your products and services. Always assume they have done their own homework and product research. If you don’t know, DON’T BLUFF, but do offer to do some research. If you don’t have a product or service that can solve their problem, recommend someone else’s product if you can. You should always be looking to solve their problems.

 

Don’t sell

 Use your knowledge and experience to help customers decide. Help them in their search. Pushy sales pitches turn customers off. But personally relevant and interactive conversations switch them on.

 

Listen well

 Make sure you understand their question(s). Then answer their questions as simply as possible.

 

Help them save time

 Time is the customers most valued passion. Help them save it. Avoid seeking other help, or ‘handing them off’.

 

Be easy to work with

 Exceed expectations whenever you can.  If your business doesn’t have what the customer wants, offer alternatives, including other businesses.

 

Be honest

If you don’t know say so. But use that question to research so as to be prepared next time. You don’t want to be saying you don’t know often.

 

Always do what you say

 Do what you say and keep your promises. It is not an option to ignore follow up.

 

Prompt follow through

 Keep them informed until you can close. Remember time is of the essence.

 

These are not things that we do not already know, of course.

 

 Yet these little things list simply reminds us of what we already know but may have forgotten. Then it is up to us to put these lessons of building customer relationships into daily use through persistence and practice.

 

These days more and more companies are turning their attention to social commerce business. Meaning ? The simple meaning is they believe that they need more attention to building customer relationships  and trust.

 

From customer relationships comes trust, the most important factor in a customer selecting a company with whom to do business. The secret to building customer relationships is customer engagement and there are many ways you’ll need to engage customers.

 

Conducting social commerce

So how do we propose conducting social commerce? Here are 10 tips I recommend to our clients:

 

It starts with great employees

Employees are your service. Hire for their friendly, caring attitude and train for skills and knowledge. Empower them to be customer advocates.

 

Make social the center piece

Socialize your business. People do business with people, so make it personal. Customers should want to do business with you because of you and your employees. Make your customers ‘feel at home’. Do you may have a great location, cool displays, great value, etc.? That’s all great, but if your people can’t make your customers feel welcome and appreciated, all of the other doesn’t matter so much.

 

Share all great service stories

Share them as soon as possible with all of your team and celebrate even the smallest of successes.

 

Show common courtesy

Show courtesies all the time. This leads to customer respect, which leads to conversation and the building of relationships and mutual trust.

 

care for customers
Show you care for customers.

 Care for customers

Assume you are the company owner. Not all owners or executives make great leaders, but the ones that are should be emulated. Watch how they take pride in how they deal with customers and employees, and then follow their lead.

 

Related post: How Steve Jobs Would Change Your Social Media Engagement 

 

Analyze when things go right

When a company receives a complaint people usually have discussions to find out what went wrong and how to prevent it from happening again. Next time you receive a letter of praise, meet to find out what went right and how it can be repeated. This action is equally as needed for learning.

 

Small business social commerce … all the time

Amazing companies don’t always deliver ‘Wow!’ type experiences, they are just a better than average  all of the time. All of the time is the secret sauce.

  

Attention to details

Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest impact. Figure out the details that your customers enjoy and make them a routine part of doing business with you. Be vigilant … always listening and learning. Try and remember things customers tell you and then show them you listened. Always be experimenting and trying new ideas. Put your social marketing in motion by being adaptable.

 

Consistency

One sure way to build loyalty and social commerce is to deliver consistent customer service. Consistency creates certainty and builds customer confidence and trust. Confidence and trust leads to giving customers a reason to consider you.

 

 Create a customer service culture

It starts by practicing what we call, ‘The Employee Golden Rule’: Treat your employees the way you want the customer treated … maybe even better.

 

Focused listening is the lynchpin

These days more and more companies are turning their attention to focused listening for social commerce business. Meaning ? The simple meaning is they believe that they need more attention to building customer relationships.

 

From customer relationships comes trust, the most important factor in a customer selecting a company with whom to do business. The secret to building customer relationships is customer engagement and there are many ways you’ll need to engage customers.

  

What is focused listening?

Focused listening is the art of discovering valuable customer insights. Remember that the real value is what we hear, not what we say. A very important concept for marketers that is often difficult to learn.

  

Key takeaways

 

In this article, we’ve explored a multitude of creative ways to use social commerce to increase engagement and build customer relationships. The key takeaway is to know your audience and what they’re most likely to respond to. Give them more of that.

 

It’s OK to promote your company and products, but do it in a way that capitalizes on your audience’s deepest interests and connects with them on a personal level. Avoid selling.

 

Here’s the thing, social isn’t just a new way of marketing, it’s really a new way of running a business. Social companies certainly have figured this out and are using social commerce to rapidly grow their business.

 

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Need some help in capturing more customers from your social media marketing or advertising? Creative ideas to help the differentiation with your customers?

  

Call today for a FREE consultation or a FREE quote. Learn about some options to scope your job.

Call Mike at 607-725-8240.

 

All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new ideas.

 

When things are not what you want them to be, what’s most important is your next step. Call today.

 

Test. Learn. Improve. Repeat.

 

Are you devoting enough energy innovating your social media strategy?

 

Do you have a lesson about making your social media better you can share with this community? Have any questions or comments to add in the section below?

  

Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+Twitter, and LinkedIn.  

 

Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change.  We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.

 

More reading on social media marketing and advertising from Digital Spark Marketing’s Library:

20 Recommendations on How to Promote Your Blog

The Zen of Winning the Battle of the Content Plan

16 Ideas to Employ Marketing Tips for Storytelling and Stories

 

 

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17 Actionable Ways to Create Small Business Social Commerce