Question: Are you a fan/follower of every business you patronize? I’m guessing not. Do you follow your local grocery store on Twitter? Have you fanned the local shopping mall on Facebook?
Converting customers into social media fans and followers isn’t always easy. I’d say there are six things, at minimum, that you have to do and do well. And I think B&H Photo does a good job with all of them.
Converting Customers Into Social Media Fans
Check out an email that arrived this week from B&H Photo & Video: (click for larger version)
I think this is a really good example of how to convert customers into fans or followers on social media sites. Here’s what they’ve done right:
1.) They asked.
I love that the whole point of this email was to make me aware of the company’s social media outposts. There’s not a single product sales pitch in here. If you want people to fan/follow you, the first thing you have to do is be willing to ask. No sense being afraid.
2.) Benefit statements (shown above)
For each social media site they list, B&H begins by telling me what benefits I can expect by making the connection. On Facebook, I’ll get info about rebates, product availability and a forum for talking with fellow customers about photography and electronics.
3.) Sample content (shown above)
Show me. Don’t just tell me. Each site includes a sample piece of content. I can see that, if I follow B&H on Twitter, I’ll get updates about when gear is back in stock.
4.) Call to action (shown above)
B&H gives me an obvious call-to-action button for each site listed in the email. It’s obvious what they want me to do.
5.) Follow through
This is obviously an important point: B&H follows through on the promises of the email. When I click through to see B&H on Flickr, the content matches exactly what the email says: photos from B&H customers (some of which get posted on B&H’s blog, too) and a lot of active photography discussions. (Seriously, it’s pretty crazy how active their group is on Flickr — nine discussions have been active in the past day or two.)
You can’t tell from looking at the email, but all of the links are tagged so that B&H can learn exactly how much traffic/clicks this email drove. Smart.
About the only thing I don’t like is that B&H uses a completely separate domain for its company blog. But that’s a separate issue from this excellent email outreach, so I’ll just say that it’s best to keep your blog on your main domain whenever possible.
As for the email itself, this is a good model for small businesses to follow when trying to convert customers into social media fans/followers. You can’t be afraid to ask. You have to show the benefits of following you and make the call to action very obvious. Follow through by making sure all of your social media outposts offer value, and track things as much as you can.
Your turn: Have you seen any other examples of good (or bad) attempts to turn customers into social media fans? Do you agree with me about this B&H email? Comments are open….