A great way to generate customer engagement.
Business owners often struggle with engaging their audience, or connecting directly with their base. Especially when the end goal is generating this engagement with their customers.
What we see happen most often is a absolute plastering of business promotions. Ads and sales and other poppycock that doesn’t do much to engage anyone.
The misconception here is that “if we plaster sales or ads then people will come flooding in”. And unfortunately that’s just not the case.
Think about it, every time you’re online whats the one thing you are without a doubt to see plastered across your screen?
Ads are everywhere – and they do serve a purpose. But they don’t create any sort of meaningful engagement. Sure you can try and go the ad route, but then you’re in direct competition with not only your competition but every other ad publisher out there. The returns seem to be neglitable at best, unless you have one heck of a ad warchest.
So, what should you do instead?
The first step would be to step outside of your head for a moment. Small and local businesses or private practices need to think outside of the box. They need to be smart about how they want to help generate new clients. And the best way for you could very well be engaging your customers instead.
So, what do I mean and how is that done?
Well, if you’re a small business owner or private practice you’re more likely than not an expert in your field. This uniquely positions you to do something that chances are your competition isn’t doing.
Be that expert.
Being that expert and engaging with people is the perfect way to establish yourself as the “expert” or “answer” to your customer’s problems. You know, engage your customers!
People always buy their way out of something, never into something. In short, I buy a pencil to buy my way out of not having something to write with. I buy a car because I don’t want to walk or pay someone else to drive me around. I hire a doctor because I’m sick and don’t want to be any more.
So, how does all this connect?
By becoming the expert you show people you’re the answer to particular problems they or someone they know may have, thus putting you squarely in the forefront of the solution providers to be hired, or purchased from.
So, how do you become “that expert”.
It’s simple, give your expertise away for free. And you’ll see what I mean here in a moment.
have you ever heard of an “A.M.A.“? It stands for “Ask me anything” and it’s a tool a lot of professionals use to generate real authentic customer engagement.
One of the most popular places to host an AMA is on Reddit. Reddit is a community based website that hosts an almost infinite number of topics and groups of people. For example one of my favorite sub-reddits is “random acts of amazon” which is a community of people who buy stuff for other people.
Anyway, you can use Reddit to host your AMA. You can also use Facebook, twitter, or any other social platform.
The idea here is to allow people to ask you anything at all about your profession or expertise. This allows people to answer questions about things that they’re actually interested in. It also allows other people to browse those previous questions and answers and get a better insight into what it is you do.
And what does this all do? It generates customer engagement like never before. And that engagement, the more often it’s created and the better quality it is generates sales and leads on the back end. You see, people talk. And when they see something of value they’ll share it. People also want to help other people, and if someone they know could use your services guess who they’ll more often than not recommend? That’s right, you!
So, what’s an easy way to do an AMA?
Glad you asked – I’ve outlined some simple steps below on how you can host your very own AMA and give it a shot.
- Setup a time and place you’re going to host your first AMA. I would recommend creating a Facebook Group or Event to host your AMA at first.
- Create that Facebook group/event page.
- Let people know about your AMA. Invite all your customers, invite your friends, post it on your Facebook wall, your business’s Facebook wall. Share it in emails, share it on Twitter. SHARE SHARE SHARE! Ask other’s to share (just don’t spam it!)
- Then, when it’s show time, do it! Let anyone ask you anything about what it is you do or what it is you’re an expert of. Answer as many people’s questions as possible. Be thorough, but use layman’s terms as much as possible.
- Once the AMA ends go ahead and share some highlights. Post them to your Facebook wall, or in emails. Just as a final way to share the best of the questions and answers and engage any more people you can.
- Schedule you’re next one! (month or two out)
This is of course only 1 example of creating customer engagement. If you have any questions feel free to ask me anything you like. Over the next month or so I’ll be writing up some more ideas.