In 2019, almost half of the world’s population was using social media. Businesses who ignore social media these days are doing so at their own peril. Sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are often used as platforms for content marketing. They can also be used for client acquisition.
In fact, you can have an entire sales funnel that starts and ends on a social media platform. This article will be broken into two parts: tools you can use to interact with customers on social media, and a brief overview of how to engage with customers through these platforms.
a) How To Book Clients Through Social Media
The methods you’ll use to book clients will depend heavily on the types of social media you’re using. Facebook has a “Book Now” button integrated into their platform that’s free for business owners to use.
Instagram and Google My Business both have booking call-to-action (CTA) buttons available, but you must partner with a booking services provider to access the buttons. Twitter allows for CTA buttons, but only through Direct Messages (more on those later).
You might opt against using buttons, especially if you’re not partnered with a supported booking services provider. In these cases, you can still encourage clients to book an appointment with you. Place a link to your booking page in your social media profiles and add a “Book Here” CTA above the link.
Partner With A Booking Services Provider
There are a number of advantages to partnering with booking services. Booking software will sync up with your calendar and those of your staff, allowing you to automate your appointments. This software can often take payments and send reminder texts before the appointment.
There are a number of other features you might find, and each booking service has something a little different to offer you. The needs of commercial cleaning services are going to differ a lot from the needs of dentists, which will, in turn, differ a lot from the needs of restaurants. Take a look at what’s on the market and find a product that suits your needs.
Grow Your Client Base With Direct Message And Chatbot System
Social media has become an avenue for handling customer interactions and complaints, usually through direct messages (DMs). You can leverage DMs in order to grow your client base.
Companies with a social media manager should have someone answering chats during business hours and a chatbot that can answer common questions at all other hours. You might have a dedicated chatbot 24/7, only referring complicated questions or concerns to a live person. These chatbots can have booking functionality built-in, providing customers with a link or CTA button when they use keywords related to the booking.
A final tool that’s tangentially related to booking is analytics software. Analytics allow you to determine who is booking with you, how they booked with you, what types of services they booked, and more. That’s going to be exceptionally useful for optimizing your social media strategy, which we’ll delve into next.
b) Getting Clients To Book Through Social Media
Now that you have the tools, you’ll need to incorporate them into your overall strategy. One of the most important pieces of information you’ll need to find is when and where your key demographics are spending their time on social media. This is where the analytics software you’ve obtained comes in handy.
Get as much data as you possibly can and use it to guide when and where you post. You can crosspost on several different platforms, but keep in mind that oversaturation can lose your followers. Some content might appeal to groups on one platform more than others.
Facebook’s Check-In Feature
You’ll want to take advantage of Facebook’s check-in feature. This feature allows your clients to post that they’re at your location on their feed. You can incentivize this behavior by offering small bonuses.
A restaurant might give a free coffee at check-in, or checking in could automatically enter a client into a raffle. This shows potential clients that you are active and that people they trust are at your location. When they visit your page, they’ll see that they can book with you right away.
Social Media Content Posting
The types of posts you make should include images and videos of satisfied customers. Your posts shouldn’t consist entirely of this type of content – products pictures and staff videos still have their place. When clients can see you interacting with people like them – especially their friends – they’ll be more inclined to give you a try.
When you’re offering online booking, it’s essential that you answer client requests and questions as quickly as possible. Platforms like Facebook will tell clients what your response time is, and if it’s too long you might lose a customer then and there. This is one of the reasons automated bots are a handy tool; they can, at the very least, tell your clients that you are unavailable to chat and then offer them a few options.
Respond To Online Reviews
Responding to clients via direct message is important and replying to reviews is equally, if not more important. The reviews your business get are displayed pretty prominently on some platforms. Fortunately, you have a chance to respond to every review, and you should, whether they’re positive or negative.
A positive review is a chance to share in an excellent experience with your client. A negative review is a chance to mend a relationship. When addressing negative reviews, it’s a good idea to cover the basics, then ask the customer to DM you so you can resolve it further – away from the public eye.
Invest In PPC Ads
Depending on your marketing budget, you might invest in pay-per-click (PPC) ads. These ads appear on social media and could link to a landing page that prompts potential clients to book. You might have your PPC ads link directly to your social media page; this can look a bit more organic. If you have a Book Now CTA prominently displayed, this can be an effective strategy.
A Final Note
The landing page for all of your Book Now CTAs must align aesthetically with the social media page you’ve transferred people from. You should have your brand’s logo and colors prominently displayed on both so clients know they’ve reached the correct page.