One of the reasons that small businesses are hesitant to dive deep into the world of social media and blogging is that they simply don’t know what to talk about. What on earth can you post / blog about on a daily, weekly or even fortnightly basis?
The answer is simple: Answer your customers’ questions.
Chances are that whether you are a service business or sell a physical product, you hear the same or similar questions from customers on a regular basis. Keep track of these questions, and use them as the basis of your online communications.
By being the source of relevant, useful information you are providing a valuable resource to your customers and potential customers, building trust and making the decision to buy from you an easier one to make.
So how do you source or keep track of these questions?
1. Listen to your customers and potential customers – and make sure your staff are listening too!
In your everyday interactions with customers you probably hear questions and concerns. What are the key questions people ask before they buy from you? What are their greatest concerns or fears when it comes to buying your product or service? Keep track of them (I recommend using Evernote and creating a Notebook that specifically holds these questions), and use them as the basis for your posts.
Also ask your staff to share any questions they receive with you so you have a steady stream of topics to consider.
2. Send follow up emails
When customers buy your product or service, send them a follow up email after a few weeks to check in and see how they’re going. Not only is this great customer service, it also opens the door for them to ask any questions or give feedback. You can even prompt them in the email with a simple “if you have any questions or challenges – no matter how small – reply to this email and I’ll help wherever I can).” You can use their replies as the basis of content, plus you can also reply to these questions with links to previously prepared content.
3. Survey your customers
Tools like SurveyMonkey make it so simple to survey your customers and receive feedback about your products or services. The feedback is valuable to improve your service or offering, but at the end of the survey, ask an open question such as “Do you have any questions about our products/services”?
4. Put yourself in your customers shoes
Take yourself out of the “expert” role for a minute and put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What questions would you ask – or what questions do you think they should ask or wish they would ask – before they buy from you? Brainstorm a list of these questions.
When you have the list of questions, think about ways you can turn the answers into valuable resources for your audience. Whether it be blog posts, Facebook posts, Instagram images or short videos, there are a huge number of ways you can provide the answer to the burning questions. In the interests of efficiency, try to repurpose each answer into a posts for each of your social media platforms, framing or presenting the answers in slightly different ways that are most relevant to those audiences.
Answering questions via your online activity lets customers feel like you know and understand them – that you’re listening to them – and that builds trust. And always remember – if you’re not answering your potential customers’ questions, someone else might be, and they will probably get the business in the end.
ACTION: Brainstorm a list of questions that your customers ask regularly when interacting with your business, and choose one to answer in a social media post.