Word of mouth is a powerful, powerful tool that can make or break a business of any size. So what are your customers saying about your business? How do they view you? In addition to the obvious fact that you need to rock at customer service and provide awesome products, you need to show customers that your business is made up of real people that really care about your business and your customers. You need to humanize your business. This is easy to do when you are interacting in your store. But how do you do this when you can’t reach out and shake hands of customers? Or when you can’t physically demonstrate how great one of your products is?

The secret is letting your customers get to know you online.  Currently, the best online providers of this personal contact are social networks.  Take advantage of this imitation of face-to-face interaction.  Using social networks and your website, do your best to make your customers feel like they know you, and can trust you and your products, even if they’ve never met you.

Be Yourself

On Your Website

Customers look at your website to learn about you. They don’t want to read cookie cutter text. They want to see some personality in your welcome message, about us page, etc.  Similarly, they want to see pictures of real people. Include a section with employee bios and photos so customers will connect faces to your business.

Search engines also love to see employee bios and photos;  it shows them you are a “real business”.

On Social Networks

Like text on your website, your Facebook updates, tweets, etc.  should show your personality and be relevant to your business and audience.  Photos of staff (and sometimes of customers) are always popular with fans, so be sure to share them.

Promote Your Business

On Your Website

When it comes down to it, you’re online to sell your products. To sell them, showcase them. Your website should have an easy-to-use online store with excellent product pictures and descriptions.  The best practice, by far, is to use original product descriptions. Include a personal review of the product, even a video.  Some customers are more hesitant shopping online because they can’t physically see what they are buying. Remove this hesitation by giving them any helpful information.

On Social Networks

Promote your products on social media.  While you shouldn’t solely push your products (no one wants to be sold to all the time), you should promote them some of the time. People do want to know about sales (that’s probably why they “like” or “follow” you),  and they do want to know about new products.  Figure out what works for your audience, and share with them what they want to know.  Fill in the gaps with tips, links to relevant articles or information, industry quotes or jokes, or whatever you think they’ll love.

Interact

On Your Website

While websites do not lend to interaction as well as social networks do, they are a great place to display past interaction with customers.  Do this by including photos or videos from shows or classes.  Additionally, posting video testimonials, or even simple text testimonials,  is a great way to show potential customers that your business is already loved by real people.

You can help customers feel like they’re interacting with you by posting original videos that they would find beneficial. Videos will help your customers feel connected to you. As a marketer and writer, I occasionally watch webinars and tip videos.  Because of this, there are many big name online marketers that I feel like I know well, even though we’ve never met.  I have a greater loyalty to them than I do to other names that I can’t put a face to.

On Social Networks

Because of the way online business has evolved, consumers look at a business’ Facebook page to learn about a company and its relationship with its customers.  Many consumers will compare Facebook pages of competitors when choosing between similar products. This is especially true for those looking to buy higher priced items.  To ensure that consumers choose you, make sure you publicly respond to all those who comment on your page—ESPECIALLY those with a complaint or seeking help.

You’ll also want to improve your relationship with your customers by posting interactive things such as simple questions that solicit an opinion,  or pictures of employees or customers at a show, class, or other event.

 

Let Professionals Help You Out

To do these things on your website, you need a website with a design that shows your business’ personality and you need the capability to easily add the text, images, video, slideshows, and products that you want, when you want.  Check out some great websites here.

About Author

Holly Wade

Holly Wade is a lover of words and marketing. She can’t read great writing without smiling, and she can’t watch a commercial without analyzing its success as marketing content. She gets a little carried away every time she goes to the library, and she always sides with using the Oxford comma. She loves writing articles that help small retail businesses find success. She's been with Rain since 2010 after graduating from Brigham Young University.

Share This