How are you influenced? By adverts? Marketing campaigns? Email blasts? Word-of-mouth? A little bit of each?
How about personal marketing?
Would you be more inclined to shop with someone that actively takes the time to know who you are, what your needs are and what your shopping pattern might be? I know I would.
Case in point – pet health nutritionists Canadian Pet Connection (disclosure – client).
If you live near their stores in Oakville, Ontario, and you go in to buy something for your pet, father and son owners Lorne and Brandon Forder treat you as if you’re old friends.
They chat warmly; they ask after your pet (which they remember by name); they’ll talk to you for as long as you want about what could be wrong with your pet, and offer solutions without being pushy salespeople; and they’ll remember your preferences every time.
They take that same family-friendliness online, where the Canadian Pet Connection blog is full of great pet advice as well as featured people and local businesses; their Facebook Page is a fun mix of advice, questions and best Christmas films for pets(!); and their Twitter stream is a constant of chat, tips and facts.
Brandon even monitors for people mentioning their pet’s birthday, and often sends out a surprise package for the pet to make that extra year all the more fun. And with a new e-commerce store about to launch, that could mean pets further afield getting the birthday treatment too.
Simply put, Canadian Pet Connection are successful because they genuinely care.
So how can you reflect this personal approach online?
From a business point of view, you could offer similar. Offer an email list for your customers to sign up to, and ask certain questions that allow you to personalize your message.
Customers in Canada? Set up an email message wishing them a Happy Canada Day. The same goes for the UK (four different celebrations for Saint days), the US (send an Independence Day message) or anywhere that has a specific celebration. It might take a little work on your behalf, but isn’t the end result worth it?
You can use the same ideas even on a personal level. New follower on Twitter? Either reply with a response to their last tweet or send a personal DM that references their last tweet or their bio. Leave some advice on someone’s Facebook status and if you have a solution (if it’s answering a question) let them know that you can help in the future.
These are just two examples of two of the most popular social networks. The same principles will work anywhere.
Social media allows us to connect with people and offer solutions to those same people like never before.
Is there any part that says these solutions can’t be personal? Canadian Pet Connection don’t seem to think so.
How about you?