3 strategies for using social media to engage your customers

Social media platforms — everyone is on them, including more than half of stateside field service businesses, according to one survey covered in Field Service News. Why are companies within the field investing resources in social media marketing efforts? The possible benefits are huge. An estimated 69% of American adults navigate these websites, per Pew Research Center, making it possible for field service businesses to cultivate strong connections with both potential and past customers. If your business is among the roughly 49% of firms within the space that have not you may ask, "Where do we start?" Here are three strategies you can use to engage customers through social media:

1. Post valuable information
Websites like Facebook and Twitter used to function as digital diaries, with users posting about the mundane details of everyday life. Businesses did something similar for a while, putting up almost random content chronicling behind-the-scenes operations with the occasional promotion mixed in for good measure. This approach no longer draws views and clicks. Users demand substantive social content that offers some kind of return on time investment. Whether it is an easy-to-implement personal or household tip or simply a video that elicits an easy laugh, customers navigating social platforms expect to get something in return for their attention, according to Hootsuite. You should take this reality to heart and develop and share social media content that offers value of some kind, whether it is useful knowledge or even savings.

Engaging with customers via valuable content is key to social media success.Engaging with customers via valuable content is key to social media success.

2. Focus on the customer
Some of the companies navigating the social media world put too much focus on branding and promotion, overloading users with advertisements that do nothing more than cause aggravation. You should avoid this problematic approach and instead form real connections with potential customers. How? Asking questions is an effective strategy, per HubSpot. By asking users to weigh in on industry-specific subjects, you can figure out their needs and, after some engaging back-and-fourth, potentially pitch solutions. Modern social platforms make this kind of interaction simpler. For example, Twitter provides a polling feature that makes it easy to gauge user opinions on subjects big and small. Quizzes are also useful and can be used to collect leads through email opt-in. 

3. Spotlight industry influencers
You have most likely come across social media influencers while navigating your personal accounts. These superusers are heavily engaged in niche online communities and wield real influence over their fellow posters, encouraging them to connect with and sometimes purchase products and services from certain businesses. In fact, more and more of these individuals are establishing partnerships with the brands that move within their specific spheres of influence. These arrangements carry significant benefits for companies, according to researchers from Mediakix, who discovered that almost 90% of marketers see real return on investment from influencer-based campaigns. Now, this does not mean you should fully embrace influencer marketing in the beginning stages of social media adoption. Finding the right digital partners requires considerable resources that you probably do not have starting off. That said, you can engage in an informal version of this strategy by seeking out superusers and striking up the occasional conversation or sharing their posts. This will lend your company some authenticity within social media circles and signal to possible customers that you are checked into the industry.

By adopting these and other tried-and-true social media engagement approaches, you can generate real leads. Of course, you also have to deliver on your digital promises by providing top-notch field services that give customers reason to sing your praises across multiple platforms.    

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