10 Ways to Create Customer Evangelists with Social Media

by Rich Wagoner, CITP.CPA | Principal, Manager, Information Technology Services Group

I have had a number of conversations about social media lately with our employees and with a number of clients. I typically hear that they think its important but its just one more thing they have to do. I believe that social media is here to stay and will only grow in importance in enhancing and creating new relationships. The following is an excerpt from Kyle Lacy (author of two books: Twitter Marketing for Dummies (Wiley, 2009) and Branding Yourself (Pearson, 2010)). In it he summarizes 10 ways you can use social media to create customer evangelists.

It is an interesting trend… to watch the conversations change in the world of social media. We have talked about becoming a better personal brand, and telling your personal story to the world. Now we are discussing integration with traditional media and we welcome the idea of the client becoming the sales person.

There is extreme value in building a customer system that encourages them to become evangelists for your brand. How do you encourage the mother who purchased a toy from your shop… to tell her friends? On top of that… how do you encourage her to do it… via social media.

Here are a few pointers on building a system to create create customer evangelists for your brand.

1. First. Make sure you prepare yourself for the focused effort of turning happy customers to loyal promoters and evangelists. Prepare your mind. You need to ask yourself if you care enough to spend more time making sure your customers are actually happy and fulfilled.

2. Use ExactTarget to build an email marketing list to keep in contact with current and future customers.

3. Import your email contacts into the social media sites you are using for marketing and promotion of your brand. Try to contact and encourage them to become involved in your brand :

   Importing and Exporting Contacts Using: Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter, and Plaxo.

4. Once you have connected to most of your customers, start communicating on a daily basis with them. We are not talking about sending sales information or product information but asking about their day… etc.

5. Create a list of your high level and valued customers. It helps to have a list in place to set some goals toward customer evangelists. Start out with five people or companies. You can create lists in Facebook and Twitter to manage multiple accounts. Also, Hootsuite has excellent features to manage groups.

6. Set up Twitter Searches for your valued client’s industries or services. For example, if you have an accountant as a valued client make sure you setup a Twitter search feed for accountant or tax advice. When someone asks for advice make sure you recommend your client.

7. If the client has an event or seminar coming up in the area, make sure you share that link with the multitudes of your followers online.

8. Recommend your client on LinkedIN. Why recommend on LinkedIN? It is simple. If you want to be recommended by a client on LinkedIN it is always better to recommend first. Do it and see the benefits.

9. Share an exciting story about your client’s business to your contacts. It is important to share the quality information even if it does not relate to your business. Add a client success section to every email newsletter you are sending out.

10. Ask for the recommendation. It never hurts to ask. Encourage your best clients and friends to tell YOUR story across the masses. Use a FLIP cam to record their reaction to your service and place the video on YouTube.

If you have any questions about social media, please do not hesitate to contact me at rwagoner@greenwaltcpas.com or 317-260-4400.

More Info about Kyle:
Kyle has quickly built a reputation for an excellent in-depth understanding of the application of social and digital media for both small businesses and large corporations. He has currently taught over 175 companies and businesses across the world. Kyle is author of two books: Twitter Marketing for Dummies (Wiley, 2009) and Branding Yourself (Pearson, 2010). The second edition of Twitter Marketing for Dummies will also be released in 2011. Recognized both locally and globally for his knowledge of social media, he is routinely invited to share his expertise with audiences all over the world. Kyle writes a regular blog at KyleLacy.com that is featured on the AdAge 150 and the Wall Street Journal Online.