Traditional marketing such as TV, radio, magazines, etc. is problematic because most people have learned how to tune out or ignore these messages. This form of marketing offers only one-way communication, making the viewer feel powerless and in the defensive to any type of messaging.
Right as marketers and business owners started to become frustrated, along came social media to save the communication channels between business and customers. Now there's finally a way to have a two-way conversation with customers and make customers feel empowered and involved in company.
Within social media, Facebook messenger is probably one of the best ways to have a real-time, two-way communication with customers and potential customers. You can use this for various business related situations from customer service to promotional offers. The best experience is with a personal profile because here you are able to have a more "chat" style conversation; however, if you are like most businesses and have a fan page, you can still have a great conversation with the messages.
Here's a recent example that worked extremely well:
I was working with a company who is launching a new B2C product on Tuesday. Because this is a B2C product and Sunday's are very busy B2C social media days, we decided to offer pre-launch sales to our Facebook friends. I posted a status with a call to action to message/chat with me to get access to a secret link to place your orders early before the official launch on Tuesday.
Immediately I was slammed with customers eager to take advantage of this great opportunity to get their hands on the product before it sold out on Tuesday. This resulted in a great number of pre-sales and gave us some valuable insight on what would come on Tuesday's official launch.
I've also used this method with huge success to give away promotional codes. I was able to track our conversation on Facebook through to the sale to see the direct impact of this marketing tactic. Each time it has directly resulted in a spike in sales. In addition to giving out promotional codes, I had some great conversations, learn more about our customers and developed new relationships.
It's important that when you have these chats/messages with customers that you keep it conversational and personal. Ask them questions in hopes to get a meaningful and engaging chat started. Do not simply spit out a sales message and stop chatting. I would suggest jumping on their Facebook page quick to learn more about them and ask them about things you see on their page; a recent vacation, college graduation, holidays, etc.
Each and every person you connect with will very quickly develop very strong positive feelings towards your brand. In their eyes, you are no longer this cold business, rather you are their friend who they have meaningful chats with and love to talk to.
Employing this method over time will continually develop a large "army" of devoted and loyal customers who love your company, are frequent patrons and are turning brand advocates. Have you tried this tactic? What was your success with it? Post in the comments.