With mobile users now averaging 3+ hours per day (and mobile usage still increasing) and social media platforms always going, consumers want and expect 24/7 availability and communication with businesses. So how can businesses get this done? Real-time marketing strategies can help make this two-way communication happen!
It’s not a 9-to-5 world anymore, and consumers want to hear from local businesses and brands on Facebook, Twitter, via live chat, and more. There are several ways a business can connect with consumers, and one of them is to participate in real-time conversations to build loyalty with current customers, and meet new ones.
Let’s explore 5 ways local businesses can have more real-time conversations.
Five Real-Time Marketing Tips to Create a Two-Way Buzz
1. Match content to the channel.
Choose the right channel for both content and audience. For instance, if you want to reach young men, consider creating content that works well on YouTube. Use Pinterest for content focused on women and children. If your audience is filled with baby boomers, Facebook is the way to go. And don’t forget email, which provides a good supplement to real-time discussions. Businesses don’t have to guess: Here’s a resource to identify where various audiences can be found.
2. Leverage the power of multiple screens.
75 percent of mobile users use their mobile devices while they are watching television; it’s called second screening. To take advantage of this trend, create a poll while a popular series is airing where people can vote on the best/worst. Yes, I’m thinking #TGIT here. You would tweet the link to the poll on the hashtag, and provide periodic Twitter updates on the results. This same concept can be used during shows like The Grammy’s, The Voice, or with various shows that could tie in to the business. The idea is to reach and engage in real-time.
3. Use live conferences and events to connect.
In today’s world people are always posting photos, videos and tweets during their memorable moments. When a business can leverage a moment such as a conference to meet a new audience, that’s a big win! Again, this is about hashtags, but this time it’s about finding popular hashtags and participating in conversations.
Here’s an example of leveraging an event hashtag:
- A local bar & grill participates in the hashtag conversation of a conference being held near their location.
- After building a rapport with a few attendees, the bar & grill offers a happy hour special to those who come by after the event ends.
- Most likely, those conversing with the local business will retweet the offer, share it at the event with people around them, and bring the local business some new customers!
If the business has representatives at the event and can connect with attendees personally in real-time, it’s even better. But if not, the business can still build a rapport by retweeting attendees, asking them questions, and then continuing to nurture the relationship online after the event.
4. Avoid the “tell and sell.”
Real-time is all about engagement, it’s not advertising. Resist the temptation to tell everyone how great a product is, and why they should buy now at the special introductory price! Don’t tell and sell; there’s no faster way to attract negative buzz and repel prospects. Keep the conversation light, unless the person engaging specifically asks for more information.
5. Encourage many-to-many conversations.
One benefit of real-time marketing is to get customers talking with each other, not just with the business. Once customers start talking they become brand advocates. While this strategy can be a little nerve-racking, the real-time environment allows the business to address criticism promptly, correct misinformation, and resolve customer issues before they evolve into something bigger. Keep in mind that an authentic response is social currency that builds loyalty.
Start Engaging in Real-Time Today
Creating real-time content that engages customers is not easy, but it is doable! Businesses meeting this need can build lasting relationships with customers. Those that don’t? They’re losing out in a big way.
Need help with real-time solutions? From directory listings to Facebook ads and content creation, we have the team and resources to help! Request a demo today to learn more.