Reach out to existing customers through social media to attract new ones

Social media has become a core platform for keeping people connected, and research shows businesses that rely on these networking outlets may boost their customer base.

A recent study conducted by Nielsen reveals consumer opinion plays a central role in how well a business functions and attracts new patrons, with 90 percent of individuals saying they trust recommendations from people they know and 70 percent trusting consumer opinions posted online. In contrast, only 62 percent say they trust advertisements on television, 55 percent trust outdoor ads and 37 percent put stock in online video ads.

For this reason, business owners who engage with current customers through social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn may also increase their chances of attracting new customers. Satisfied customers may be more likely to post positive reviews, “like” a company’s Facebook page and encourage friends and family to purchase a company’s products, according to Entrepreneur magazine. Further, smaller businesses may be at an advantage because their size and smaller customer base affords them the opportunity to personalize their responses and better control their marketing tactics.

There are a number of ways owners can use these outlets to maintain existing customers and attract new patrons, including:

1. Setting up a customer review pages on social media networks
2. Send personal, rather than automated responses to customer inquiries through social media outlets
3. Advertise new products and services to their current customer base
4. Invite and encourage participation, feedback and comments on products and services

Many consumers pay attention to both positive and negative attention customers give to businesses, so relying on social media to build relationships, pinpoint problems and measure customer satisfaction can be an affordable way to improve a business.

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