If you have a website and social media pages, then every single day both strangers and regulars are going to pay you a visit. So far, so good. Just like at home though there are better sorts of visitors. Some simply sit in a corner, drink your wine and eat your food, then go home – leaving you to do the washing up. Others pitch in, add something to your party or barbecue, and make the event more enjoyable for others.
With your online activities, the former group are often pretty much a waste of time. They’re not going to buy your products or services, and are unlikely to enthuse about you to others. Of course there’s no need to chase them away – they are not doing any harm and, just occasionally, some good might ensue.
However, with your livelier visitors, as well as making purchases or using your services, there are two other ways they can be of use to you. The first is as a contributor. This might be in offering product reviews – the Amazon website would probably be half the size without them. Perhaps you might invite comment and debate when posting blogs such as this one. Posting on Twitter or Facebook is always likely to generate comment and interaction. If it’s negative, as it occasionally will be, you then have the chance to demonstrate that professional customer behaviours and service is more than simply a slogan.
Taking the interaction a final stage further is for your visitors to become publishers on your behalf. “Link to content on xx you might find useful” is a welcome sight on Twitter. The same kind of message with a copy of a blog or article on Facebook also benefits from the friendly recommendation that accompanies it. Therefore, it pays when posting or offering advice online, to actively encourage those reading it to pass it on through social media (or plain old email) to other interested parties. Or to give these new recipients of the message a better title – potential customers for what you are offering!