Customers are going to the Internet first to research and find what they are looking for. When they arrive in front of you, they probably know what they are looking for. The only question that may remain in their mind is how you can help them get what they want. Let’s look at what it took to get them in front of you.

Firstly, the customer has to have a need and the desire to act on that need. They want something, and they have identified that they need to act. Wanting something is not enough. The customer has to want to act before business can even begin. As a business, you have to not only create “want” but also the “need to act“. Correctly helping the customer identify the need and the reason to act is critical to the buying process. Ask yourself, where is the customer’s pain?

Secondly, once the customer has chosen to act, you have to show up on their radar. They have to “Know” about you before they can start the business process. There is an art to showing up in front of your customer’s eyes are ears. The primary way people are looking for business is a “Google” search. When it comes to Google, you can show up to your customer through various means. Social media can be one of them. A Facebook Page or a Google+ business profile could help your business show up on Google for example.

I just had an interesting discussion with my students in my social media class on how they buy. There are many reasons why the are preferring to buy online for example. From ease of ordering to price; these things are factoring into the buying decision. If you are a local store, do you have the ability for your customers to order online? Customers are searching online for what they want. You just have to show up online as a possible choice.

Thirdly, people are greatly affected by what their friends are saying and sharing with them. People feel better about buying something that their friends have already purchased and are enjoying. People like to talk about their stuff. Having customers talk favorably about their purchases is great for your business. When people share your information online, this can greatly affect how you show up on Google search. You want people saying good things and you want these great comments showing up in search results when ever they can.

Social media can persuade people to buy. When their friends have bought, and they “Like” what happened, then this event can trigger a buying response from others. One of the most important things happening now in business is this…”What you say about you and your business is not as important as what others say about them“. Businesses need to create great word of mouth or world of mouth from others. Social media can help make this happen. Even Matt Cutts from Google seems to think that this is so as well.

So what are some things that you can do to show up?

  1. Post content on a regular basis. Plan to show up at various times.
  2. Post content that your customers will find interesting and useful.
  3. Post content that is relevant to your business.
  4. Post not just business info by also content that is relevant to your customer’s every day life as well.
  5. Post things that will make your customers laugh or smile.

The bottom line is that in order to show up in Google, Google needs to be feed one way or another. If you do not feed Google, Google will not return any search results for your customers about you and your business. So plan to feed Google and plan to show up in a specific fashion. Social media can compliment what you are doing online. Learn how to use it wisely and effectively.