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Do you know your followers on social media?

How do you generate revenue from your followers?

You want to promote a product or service. Using social media is more important than you think. Even though your post gets, in your opinion, only a limited number of likes or comments, remember that there are a huge number of people who see your posts when they scroll through their social media feeds. You’re increasing your online visibility more than you think. To give you more insights from the social media users who read your posts, we describe three types of social media users in this Bonc blog and give you tips on how you can write your posts in a way that helps you reach your potential customers.

The loyal fan
These are the followers who like or sometimes even share your posts on a regular basis. They smile when you’re happy and cry when things are getting a bit harder. The loyal fans are in fact the ambassadors of your company and believe in what you do and support you in every way possible. At least, as long as it doesn't take too much effort... The trick is to steer these ambassadors of your company in such a way that they also share the things you want them to share. And we don't just mean that they do this online. With the right promotions, you can also use these loyal fans to support you and make things work outside of social media. Here are a few tips to effectively deploy these loyal fans:

a) Sharing reviews
On social media, ask for reviews about a specific product that you’re offering, an event you’ve organized or a service you’ve delivered. Then ask them if you can use their reviews on your website or in a brochure, for example.

b) Share & win
Create a great message in which you promote your service or a product. You can nicely format this message and give it a professional look with the Bonc templates. Then you need to make clear in your message that one of the people who share the post will win something. This can be anything that fits your company image. Note that it needs to be something small, so that you don’t need to pay gambling taxes, but that the prize is untaxed. In 2019, you can give away a prize untaxed up to €449 (Dutch legislation) Make sure you create a competition so that it is a performance dependent prize and not a lottery ticket. If you decide to do it this way, then it might be seen as a game of chance, and of course you don't want that. For that you’ll need a permit in the Netherlands.

Tip: describe in your giveaway that "there is a chance to win". This implies that someone actually wins if he or she decides to join the giveaway to win a prize. You can also send a personal message to your most loyal followers and ask them if they want to share the post. Make sure you do this only a couple of times a year. Are you doing this too often? Then followers can become "fatigued" and your relationship with this follower will then turn into a disillusion. You must prevent this at all times.

c) Personal messages
We’ve mentioned it briefly. Sending personal messages. This is certainly effective, but this only works if the follower sees your relationship as 'real'. Of course, this is no different than the non-digital life, but nobody wants to feel used online either. If you’d like fans to help you, invest an hour every week to send a message to your 20 most loyal followers (for example, Whatsapp). In these messages, don’t talk about your company, but just ask how they are doing. Make sure you really mean it. Don’t just send them messages for business success. Maybe you could help them with something, or they might be able to help you.

d) Loyal fan offers
Everyone likes to be appreciated. So, what you can do is post an offer online that only applies to your friends (so don't post it publicly but make sure it’s only visible to your friends). Make sure you clearly state this so that your friends know that you are doing this especially for them. Also make sure to mention it in the text or call the offer "loyal friends deal". Make sure that it is truly a better deal than the one you do publicly the day after, with a limited expiration date, otherwise the positive effect will disappear and the thing you want to do is to create absolute awareness.

The silent follower
Although social media is a medium you can use to communicate with customers, colleagues or competitors, more than half of your followers are often so-called silent followers. A silent follower is someone who has liked your business page, but then leaves it at that and doesn’t do much else. They have probably not purchased any products or services from you yet. And because these followers often don’t post comments or like posts, it is quite difficult to know what makes them "take action." Here are a few tips to try this anyway:

a) Surprising posts
Scroll through your previous posts from the past months. Think of something you have never posted before. This can be very different depending on your type of company, but try to think "outside the box". Be original and creative! Do you always add product photos with a product description and link to your website? Then, show your audience a photo of the person who creates this product and tell them how proud you are of that person. Or, if you always post serious things, post something funny or post a nice quote. In the Bonc library we have thousands of quotes ready for you in both Dutch and English.

b) Video message / vlogging
If you usually only post photos, try creating a video. You’ll be surprised how many comments you’ll get. And even though you might not get likes or comments, on most social media channels you can see how many people have seen your video (partially). You don’t need to be a professional vlogger to do this! You can create videos about someone who’s working at your company or you can pick up a camera and tell them why you’re proud of your company yourself. This is also a great way to explain what your qualities are or to thank customers!

c) Simple question
To create some variety for your product or service posts, you can also ask your followers a question every now and then. The question must contain a "call to action". (namely: a call-to-action is a call to get immediate responses from your audience, it’s literally used to elicit a response). For example: you post a photo and say that you are considering to do or sell this, and that you’d like to hear from users who have experience with this. Here's an example:

“I’m thinking about using new packaging (use a photo with packaging) for products I sell in my online store. I would like to know if you think this is a good idea. Like this post if you think that I should use this kind of packaging for a sustainable world!”

Or

“What would you choose: using sustainable packaging, but this would be €1,- more expensive for the customer, or do you prefer to pay less, even though you know that the packaging is not environmentally friendly? Like if you choose environmentally friendly packaging”

Sustainability is a subject that concerns many people. By talking about this, you’ll create more engagement and start a great discussion and you’ll discover who your users are. This is very valuable to get even more out of your online marketing.

The bargain hunter
Make no mistake, there are a lot of people looking for bargains. According to a recent survey, 49% of followers of companies on social media are sensitive to offers. Take advantage of this! It’s important that your offer is a really good offer, it must be unique and must have a short expiration date, so that you’ll get traffic and engagement. Remember that people can easily look up and compare certain things online, so your customer will be well aware of the price. Don't underestimate your customer! Be careful with offers, because if you do this too often, your followers will no longer notice your placed offer and they might end up thinking it’s not even an offer anymore. Then, the loyalty of your customers can decrease instead of increase. So, stay unique and be economical! Don't just keep throwing sales at your audience, but think carefully about how and when you’re going to this.

In addition, it’s also good to be aware of (inter) national offer days. Are you going to take advantage of this or not? This is a choice you have to make as an entrepreneur. Some examples of these (inter) national offers are Black Friday, Cyber Monday, the national Glamor Day (the fashion magazine Glamor organizes this twice a year in spring and fall to increase sales in all quarters). Other examples are the Prenatal (mammamazzeldagen) and in the past also the Bijenkorf (unfortunately these "three crazy days" no longer exist). They have purchased stock in bulk, which means that consumers can get these products at a big discount. These promotions start at the end of March / the beginning of April, the end of September / the beginning of October, so that all quarters (Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4) get boost in revenue! Choose your moment and be careful when discounting your products or services.

Below are three types of offers that might help you:

1) Free!
Who doesn’t want something for free? At first, it may seem weird to give away valuable things, but it’s often one of the cheapest ways to sell more. If you have lots of likes on your online channels but not a lot of these people are your customers, try to persuade them by giving away something for free. A goodie, for example. Let’s say you own a store, it could be a product with high margins. Then it seems like you’re giving away a lot, but for you it’s not that bad. Once people are in your store, you’ll be surprised how much people still actually buy. If you have an online store, then you can give away a free product with every purchase. The Bonc templates can also help you with presenting your products professionally. This saves you money you’re not spending on an advertising agency!

2) Unique
Make sure your offer is unique. By this we mean that the product can only be ordered online, for example, and not in your physical store. Or that it is a limited edition product. If you organize an event, it can be an early booking discount, only for people who like your social media post.

3) Temporary deal
Create an offer that’s only valid for a limited time. If these offers are really good and only valid for one or two days, then you make sure that people keep watching your social media pages closely. What can also help is to announce when the next limited time offer is going to be online. If you do this, you’re creating some attention in advance. If you’re afraid that too many people are going to use the offer, you can also include “while supplies last” or “only valid for the first 100 orders”, or you can make sure your offer at least covers your costs.

With everything you do on social media, it’s important that people notice that you’re active and enthusiastic about what you do and that you like to reward your loyal followers. When doing this, you also create a goodwill factor and this usually results in a boost in positive comments on your posts. A win-win situation for your online marketing posts! What else could you ask for?!

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