The whole point being able to attract more new customers, right? Well, for me personally that’s only part of the story. I run a very small holiday let in the Forest of Dean and used to rely on expensive agents to find me new customers, until I discovered social media . . . .
Up until about a year ago I’d never got involved with any form of social media. I’d heard people chat about Facebook but it wasn’t something I particularly wanted to get involved with, why would I? The truth is – I didn’t really understand it. I’d heard negative things about it and decided to leave it well alone, without finding out what all the fuss was about. However, I was given the opportunity to join a day’s Twitter training in the spring of 2015 so I decided to see what all the fuss was about.
I am so glad I did! Social media enables you to reach your target audience with exactly what it is you want to say. So after quickly getting to grips with the nuts and bolts I started tweeting about the local area gathering interested followers along the way. It has given me a chance to talk about what goes on in and around the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley, places to visit, things to do, a chance to share local events and promote the local activity providers.
It gives my future customers a chance to see just what goes on around here so they can decide for themselves if it’s a place they’d like to visit. The same thing happens with Facebook too. I can share updates and interesting articles from other social media users in the local area. Then when my target audience feel they’d like to spend their hard earned cash in the area, they look for somewhere nice to stay – cue The Forest Coach House! I can post images of my accommodation and share guest reviews to help build that all important trust which is so vital these days in such a competitive market. Social media gives me the chance to showcase my brand. It’s an excellent way of generating leads. Previous guests love to share their own images on Facebook and Twitter which helps to spread the word and convince their own friends and families that the Forest Coach House is certainly worth a visit!
I can build relationships and stay in front of people whilst they’re on the move too. They could be commuting at the time and longing for a short break, I appear in their newsfeed with my images of the beautiful local area and offer them a way of connecting there and then. This connection continues with previous guests which is so vital these days. I love to find new customers but of course, previous customers who have stayed before may like to (and do) visit again so it’s an opportunity for me to offer special promotions, discounts and seasonal offers which is a way of appreciating them and thanking them for their business. This information they will then share on their own social media platforms – people buy from people they like and trust (I do!)
It gets better – all of this social media activity then helps with the all-important social rankings. The more exposure you get, the higher you perform in the rankings.
So, I can now reach my target audience with interesting and relevant information, build strong relationships and look after existing customers for free! Many of the social media platforms offer this marketing opportunity for either no cost or very little cost so if you haven’t tried social media yet – give it a go! You will be surprised and delighted with the results. You risk being able to promote your brand for free, to build sound business and customer relationships, attract new customers, retain previous customers and climb the rankings too at very little cost!
I still have much to learn, I’ve made mistakes and I am still working out what works well but I am having fun whilst trying!