One of the most frequent complaints about the changes in marketing that have occurred over the last decade is the time required. Yes, you need to engage customers (and employees) but who has the time?
It can be done in the time it takes you to wolf down your lunch. It can even be done while you’re eating. Here’s how:
Set Up Required
You’re probably looking for a catch. Engagement in 20 minutes a day seems impossible. You’re right. There is a catch. You need to set up your framework first and know your ideal customer. Once you do those things it’s all within the realm of possibility.
Think about your business:
How long is your sales cycle (from the moment someone hears of you until the moment they buy)? Longer sales cycles will require more touchpoints.
Who’s your ideal customer and who’s the most apt to buy from you? Recognizing this person will help you serve them quicker and better. When I worked in retail on commission as a teenager in a women’s clothing store. We jumped when we saw a man come in. Not because of some gender inequality issue but because women will come into a store and try clothes on. Even if they love it all, they don’t always buy. When we saw a man walk into a women’s store we knew he was going to buy. It was a guaranteed sale. He may not be the ideal customer but we knew there was a purchase on our horizon.
What is your ideal customer looking for? What problem are they solving for? How can you help? If you can communicate this simple problem and solution equation, sales will increase.
Once you know your ideal customer, you need to find people who fit that description. If you already have an email list, you’re ahead of the game. If not, start collecting names. You can do this by offering worthwhile content on your site that people will pay for with their email address or have them sign up in your store (if you have one). Follow people on social media who talk about needing what you provide or people who fit your ideal demographic.
Schedule Social Media Posts (20 minutes a week = 4 minutes a day)
Use the scheduler of your choice – Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Buffer – there are a number of free and paid options out there. Always be on the eye for good content that your ideal customer would enjoy. Schedule it out as far as your scheduler allows. Add to it when you find a great post or keep a file for content you find.
Use Lists (5 minutes a day)
Twitter offers a list feature and there are CRMs that can help you track the people who are the most important to you on social media. This could be customers, potential customers, or whomever you are trying to court. Spend 5 minutes a day reviewing what they’re doing on social and responding accordingly. Share, comment, compliment. These easy interactions will get you noticed. But don’t be creepy about it. If you have only one person on your list and you share everything he or she posts, things are going to get awkward fast.
Add a Special Touch (no time required)
Engagement isn’t always digital. If you have a brick and mortar business that sells a physical product, add something special to the bag – a mint, a message, a sample, or special gift wrapping. It’s a nice surprise and people remember it. Best of all this form of engagement, after you decide what it is, takes no time to perform. It’s a task you’re doing anyway.
Comment (10 minutes)
Remember your list of ideal customers? Find out if any of them have a blog. If they do take 10 minutes a day to find one or two, read an article, and offer a comment. You’re comment should be complimentary or ask them for further commentary on something because it allows them to shine as the expert.
Listen (1 minute)
One minute out of 20 to listen sounds awful, doesn’t it? But if you’ve already set up a system, listening alerts are generated for you and delivered to your inbox in many instances. It’s easy. You can set up free alerts in Google, on Mention, Talkwalker, Social Mention, and IFTTT. Set up alerts on your keyword in the area you serve, your name, your company name, the problem you solve for, anything you find relevant.
There’s your 20 minutes a day to a more engaged audience. Once you set up your framework and have the right tools in place, it’s not as time consuming as you might imagine. If you have a brick and mortar store, remember a smile and a welcoming attitude are the ultimate engagement tools, so use them often. They don’t take any time at all.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish.