Spray & Pray is NOT an Engagement Strategy

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When you’re building your online business, you’ll find yourself littered with lingo like strategy, engagement, conversion, click-thru, blah, blah, blah. It’s easy to get lost in the banter barrage and, easier still, to get swept-up in an un-targeted approach to relationship building. So, what’s a small business to do?

1. Stop Talking to Everyone.

If you’re talking to everyone, your message falls on deaf ears. That’s because people are savvy and have learned to tune out the ‘spray and pray’ messages filling their social channels every day. As a small business owner, marketer or social manager, it’s important to devote time to identifying who your business products and services best serve and why.

2. Get to Know Your Target Audience.     

When you’re building an online presence, it’s important to think about the people you’re trying to reach. This information shares scads about where to find them and how they prefer their interactions. For example, if you’re targeting a 23-year old apartment dweller who wants to decorate her first flat on the cheap, you shouldn’t create additional noise on LinkedIn. You’ll find her on Instagram. However, if you’re targeting a 47-year old lawyer who wants to hire someone to redesign their firm, LinkedIn away! See the difference? Knowing your target makes reaching your intended audience a bit more intentional.  

3. Engage.

There’s a difference between broadcasting and building a relationship. And, if you don’t know the difference, you might be guilty of a 100% broadcast platform. Ask questions on your public forum and engage in a little back-and-forth. Answer questions when people send queries relevant to your product or service niche. Add value with content that may or may not produce direct sales. In short, you want to be OF SERVICE to your intended audience to foster trust and begin a conversation.

4. Entice.

Now that you’ve gained a little more insight into your target audience through social media listening, make interaction irresistible with a well-timed giveaway or contest. People want to win and love being winners – so why not stack the deck for fun? Develop a promotion that’s specifically tailored to your target and promote it where they are. Then, sit back and collect valuable data to help you build your email list. Also, make sure that your website is complete, accurate and up-to-date. This includes everything from a healthy blog library to enticing product descriptions and data. This makes it easy for potential customers to spend more time – and potentially money – on your site.

5. Celebrate New Customers.

Whether your target buys online or in-store, it’s important to realize that your engagement efforts led them to this point. Sometimes, ROI isn’t as easy as a direct line, especially when it comes to building a relationship, fostering trust and establishing your business as experts in the industry. Trust that your efforts played a big part in bringing home a sale to improve the bottom line.

When you’re more deliberate about customer communications, engagement improves and the pay-off is apparent. How will you stop the spray and pray cycle in your marketing efforts?