Digital world – Direct communication best

Direct message (DM) or private messages (PM) are important ways in which you can communicate with your customers.

I have found that businesses generally only use DM as a way of replying to a message. However there are opportunities for businesses to reach out. For example, in Instagram you can not only DM your followers but you can also DM people who are not following you. This can give you a wider scope to reach out in a friendly way.

An example recently was a campaign we ran for a local café. An offer was sent out to locals in the area who enjoyed coffee. First we kept an eye on the local hashtag (a hashtag helps you search a common theme word ie #Orewa) and made contact with all that used it. We followed all the locals who used the hashtags and engaged every day with our followers. We also followed other local business owners and interacted with them. This created a really nice collaboration between 3-4 businesses and they all ended up working together, chatting on each other’s pages. Followers who engaged on the café’s page were sent an offer through direct message. Then, they just had to show the offer when they next visited the café. The offer could read something like this: “Hi [name], we really appreciate you. Thank you for your recent engagement on our posts. Next time you are in the café, show the barista this message and get a coffee on us,” Jim. Or “Hi [name], we noticed you are new to the area. Welcome. Next time you are near our café, pop in and get a free coffee on us. Show this message to the barista. We look forward to seeing you in store,” Jim.

The message was tailored to each individual, with free coffees given as a treat for someone who was doing something great or those we thought needed a little kindness. When that person came in, a photo was taken of them with their coffee for the café’s page, provided that the customer agreed to it. This campaign turned customers into huge advocates for the café and the retention of customers increased greatly. It also changed the whole vibe of the café – instead of being just customers, they became friends. Because the café followed them on Social Media and interacted with them on their page, that conversation could then follow on within the cafe.

The campaign cost the business owners $100 a week but increased their turnover by 30 percent. Now they had an influx of customer returning for the familiarity and because they were known by name.

This will be Pauline’s last column for our paper, as she has moved out of the area. We thank her for all her contributions.