I needed a new printer/copier/fax/scanner today, so I went into an office products store. I bought my machine after getting some great advise from two sales attendants, who also talked me into getting extra ink and the accident-replacement warranty. So you’re saying to yourself, “What does this have to do with social media marketing?” Let me continue.

When I got home, I grabbed the mail and guess what I found. Yep! A discount coupon from the store where I had just purchased my copier. So, after lunch I headed back to the store with my discount coupon. When I arrived, I explained that I had just purchased a copier and had since found the coupon. The attendant remembered me and quickly called for her supervisor and explained my situation. The supervisor said, “They don’t like me doing this, but I’ll take care of you.” A minute later I had my money. So here are a few techniques we can take from this experience and use them in our online Social Media Marketing:

  1. Help people. Two attendants made sure I was getting the best “bang for the buck.” And because I trusted them, I was happy to oblige when they offered to up sell me. Make your checkout pages full of options – don’t sell them on what you want them to buy – give them choices that meet various needs and wants.
  2. Send out coupons and discounts to your customers and potential customers. They appreciate the discount – even nominal discounts. But a word of advice: Make discounts real. Don’t just inflate the price in order to show a discount. Some will know that the value hasn’t changed and won’t trust you any more when you tell them you are having a sale. Successful online social media marketing has a lot to do about how much you are trusted by other businesses and consumers.
  3. Show consideration. When I returned with the discount coupon, the attendant didn’t make me repeat what I had told her, she told her supervisor what had happened. That might not seem like such a big deal, but when she started telling him my situation, I felt that I had a friend – and that together we would have a better chance at convincing him to help me. There are many social media marketing tips that work in this situation: be clear about your product and your warranty; give consumers and potential vendors a place to ask questions online – then respond quickly, always offering a token of your appreciation in the form of an e-book, a newsletter, or an interview from a top professional.
  4. Please the right people. You’ll remember how the supervisor responded “they don’t like me to do this, but I’ll take care of you.” Those of us that have worked in retail know how true that statement is. We know that upper management frowns on taking money from the till and giving it back to the customer. Heck, you might have become a boss like that. The key is to treat the right people the right way. If your customer is happy, he or she will tell people. If your customer is not happy, she or he will tell more people. It doesn’t matter if the disagreement or disappointment was your company’s fault or not. It just matters that they are either happy or unhappy.

Our goal in social media marketing is to help as many of our clients, customers, vendors, affiliates, and business partners be as happy as possible as often as possible with our products and service. How we display our product and service is also important.

Contact me if you want to know which office supply store I experienced such great service. I will be glad to tell you! And I won’t patronize anywhere else either. That is how social media marketing works! Keep customers happy and they will stay loyal. And that loyalty is worth far more than any discount you might otherwise refuse.