Take control! Maximizing offline interactions online

It’s no secret that having a social media presence for your business is important. In fact, in a recent study by Equities, it’s shown that more than 90% of small businesses are using social media as a means to gain new customers. Since that’s the case, what are you doing to bring your offline interactions online?

Questions about taking offline interactions online?No longer is it enough just to have a Facebook page and Twitter account. We have all seen restaurant menus with Facebook and Twitter logos on them, and cleverly displayed social logos on their signage. Seriously, does doing that alone actually drive your customers to your fanpage? I don’t think so. Let’s take a look at a couple ways to better maximize those valuable offline interactions, that until now, have been going to waste.

Clearly Define Goals

First off, why do you want to drive people to your social platforms? What do you want to accomplish by turning these human beings into fans and followers? Is there a specific behavior that you want to encourage or product that you want them to buy? Do you want to remarket to existing customers, or gain new customers? These are a few of the many questions that you need to ask yourself when deciding how to bring your offline interactions online.

By first defining what you would like to accomplish by driving them to your social platforms, you will have a much better time seeing actual results and ROI.

Consistent Messaging

What is your call to action for bringing people to your social platforms? It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, and definitely does not have to be contest or giveaway focused. In my opinion, the food trucks who adopted twitter in 08 and 09 nailed it on the head. Why should you follow them on Twitter? Because, it was the only way to know where to find them tomorrow. If you have a brick and mortar, you don’t have that specific kind of luxury, but you can still drive positive behavior to the social graph through clear and consistent messaging.

Do your customers want to keep up to date on new product lines, discounts, and sales? You can bet your butt they do. So let them know that the best way to get “insider information” and to stay up to date with your awesome business is by liking you on facebook or following you on twitter. If you give them a reason to bring that offline relationship online, and if you stay true on your end, you will have an audience that is far more likely to give you business and to continue doing business with you in the future.

On a side note, make it easy for them to remember how to find you on the social graph. Secure your facebook username and make sure your twitter handle mirrors your company name. This would seem like a no brainer, but I would say 20% of the businesses that I have consulted for missed doing this. Remember, you are bringing offline behavior online, so make it as simple as possible for people to find you online.

How are you bringing your offline interactions online? Please share in the comment section.