Question: Now that we have been creating content for a decent period of time we are seeing greater levels of online engagement and we are interested in moving conversations off of social to try and drive new customer acquisition. Are there any rules for how we should approach this?
First of all, I’m glad to hear that your company is successfully moving the conversations from your content to social and that you are now exploring ways to take those engagements to the next level.
While I would love to tell you that there are hard and fast rules for engaging a customer into a phone or email correspondence I have to be completely straightforward and say there are not.
I do however have a recommendation that I often use when explaining just about any facet of social and it is as follows.
Think about how you would handle a similar circumstance offline and treat it the same way online. Allow me to explain.
Imagine you head to a networking event and you meet someone that may be a good fit for your product or service. You give them the 2 minute elevator pitch and they are hanging on to your every word. Clearly they are interested and you can tell by how they are engaging you.
At this point, what would you do?
Now, before you jump in and say “Close the deal,” I want you to think how that would come off in the modern world. For the most part if you take their genuine interest and slam them with a hard close they are going to ask you where the nearest restroom is only to never return.
Instead you may suggest a next course of action to help guide them through the sales process, right?
Same goes online, the customer engagement and willingness to share or connect with you on your content is a potential clients way of saying let’s continue this discussion. But the next step may be a millimeter or a yard, but you have to move it at a reasonable pace or you will scare them off.
So back to your question, I think a safe way to approach your goal of moving engagement into a more sales friendly environment like phone, email or even face to face can be approached by being direct but not pushing to hard. I may suggest something like this via a tweet or PM on LinkedIn or Facebook.
“Thanks for checking out our article on … I would love to connect with you a bit more to better understand what your business does. Any chance we can trade emails?
While even this is a bit invasive in a world of soft selling tactics, in this case you offer a chance to further connect and you are not asking for a purchase but rather just a chance to learn more about them.
Just know that in Social you may see a fairly low response rate, but this type of inquiry is quick and to the point. A win for both parties, and if they are interested you have given a clear course of action.
I hope this helps with your goal of moving the needle with more of your readers. Just remember to think about how you would handle these conversations in real life and then take that approach via the digital mediums. After all social is human and the platform is just a channel.
How does your company approach moving online engagement to other vehicles to move the sales process forward? Join the conversation below.
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