When I was a tousled haired youth we used to play hide & seek a lot. The games didn’t last a long time as there was a very finite number of places where one could hide where I grew up, but it kept us entertained and out of trouble (usually).
When business owners ask me how they can find new customers using social media I find myself embroiled in conversations where the starting point seems to be that there is a suspicion that people are hiding and that the business needs to seek them out.
Considering that in the UK over 32 million people use Facebook, nearly 20 million use YouTube, 15 million are on Twitter, 14 million on Instagram and over 10 million access Pinterest it can easily be argued that nobody in the UK is hiding online.
The ‘new customers’ challenge always needs to be posed better. ‘Where can I find new people who might like to visit my nursery business’ is a much better question to ask. Now we can start to discuss matters. Where is your nursery business? What sort of products do you sell? What type of person do you want to come into your shop?
Business owners need to learn to ask better questions. I count myself in this also as a business owner because I am guilty of this sometimes when I speak to my own suppliers:
“Hello Mr Local Printer”
“Hello Digital Marketing Man”
“Can you sort this need out for me using just this vague preamble as a brief?”
Think about the questions you want answers to with regards to finding new customers. Then break them down into more focussed discussion points. Once you know the type of person you would like to find then you can engage in a few rounds of hide and seek as one of the fundamentals of that childhood game is knowing who you are looking for.
This is where you need to think about the social media platforms available to your targets and who uses them and how they get used.
Does Instagram match your desired audience? Around 85/90% of users are under the age of 35. The gender split is in favour of females at around 58% of the user base to 42% male. People are ten times more likely to engage with brands and retailers on Instagram than they are on Facebook.
Pinterest could be the go-to platform if you are looking to engage primarily with ladies as 70-80% of the user base is female. Research suggests that around 75% of Pinterest users have either already purchased or are planning to purchase something they have seen on the site. Double up with Instagram and you will covering lots of bases as people actually search for products on these two pictorial platforms.
Facebook has pretty much everyone on it and if you want to find specific people then you need to spend money on their advertising tools. If you need to put your content in front of females aged between 25 and 35 who live within 60km of the centre of Wilmslow and have interests in pregnancy, breast-feeding and fashion then you can build a campaign on Facebook to do just that. Few people go to Facebook though to search for specific products and they don’t really go there to get inspiration, so do bear that in mind when you are working out how to spend your budget.
The aim of this game of hide and seek is to turn it upside down. You don’t really want to be spending time trying to find new customers that are hiding in plain sight. You need to spend time doing things that make new customers FIND YOU. They are already searching. They don’t know that they are searching for your business yet but they are looking for the products you offer. Social media might also not be the perfect solution, so always bear that in mind.
You need a blog and you need to write shareable articles that your target customers will enjoy reading and telling their like-minded friends about. Articles that search engines will discover and rank so that people find you in search results when they are looking for the specific products or themes that you wrote about. Articles that you can also share yourself on social media.
You create genuine customers rather than one-off sales by being found and loved. That way is so much better and easier than searching for people yourself and then trying to drag them back to your place…that’s just creepy when you think about it!
If you have any questions about Social Media and how you are or could be using it then please get in touch and we will be happy to chat about it with you. We can even train you up if you want to get started the right way…