If you think about the most polite, social people on earth, you'll think of the South. After all, we're known for our church suppers, our ability to know everyone in our community, and our willingness to help when it’s needed. Mississippi consistently ranks at the top of polls of the most charitable states.
Social media revolves around building relationships, and if there's anything Mississippians know about, it's building relationships. We know the servers at our favorite restaurants. We trust the guy a the local hardware store because he's always suggested the right tool. We ask our pharmacist for medical advice. Providing great customer service starts with those personal relationships, and social media helps us keep them going.
Word of mouth is the best advertising we'll ever do. It trumps your website, your television commercial, and other ways of marketing a business in Mississippi. Referrals offer new customers with less cost, and they are more likely to return. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn allow you to share your expertise with your customers in a form they can easily share with others. Your customers already know you are an expert in your field; it's why they trust you.
Because we have built relationships with our customers and they trust us, they also see right through fake marketing ploys on social networks or elsewhere. You should use social networking to improve your customer relationships, not as a replacement for those relationships or as an excuse to lay on the hard sell. Which means the tone and content of social media marketing for Mississippi businesses is even more important than for companies who have not already built a relationship with their customers.
The most successful campaigns we have seen with our clients happen when they already have customers or clients who are passionate about their services. That only happens when you provide top notch customer service. Without great customer service and a stellar product, your social media may drive in new customers but you'll have a low retention rate, which really doesn't help your business grow.
Before you launch a social media, inbound or online marketing campaign in Mississippi, start by engaging your customers in your business. Then drive them to your social channels or your website as a resource to stay in contact with you. Finally, don't disappoint them with bad content. Provide what you promised online just like you do in your brick and mortar location: valuable tips or tricks that prove you are an expert in your field. Also, ask yourself before every post, will this really help my clients? Will this improve relationships? Would my clients want to share this information with their friends and family?
Remember your social network is a place to connect with your customers. For more information on how Facebook works for businesses and the recent changes to Facebook business pages, check out our free E-book.