customer base growth experiments

Social media and content marketing provide an opportunity to engage with your audience in a meaningful way. You can build a relationship with potential and current customers. Because they’re informal channels, they also offer a lot of margin for error and room for experimenting. In this post, we’ll cover three experiments you can run with content and social media marketing to build your customer base.

1- Include your audience in your content

For the Mention blog, it’s really important to us that each of our posts are educational and actionable. We want our readers to read a post and immediately apply at least 2-3 tactics they took away to their work. With that in mind, we created a Field Guide series, covering several areas of a startup (or any business, really) with tips, tools, tactic, and lessons for anyone getting started in a given field.

We asked pros in each respective field to share their advice, covering content marketing, community management, product management, design, customer support, sales and business development(another currently in the works for media monitoring). These pros are relevant members of our target audience and people that a broader audience can relate to; IE our customers and potential customers.

Not only did our pros help us share the guide they were included in, expanding the reach of our content, our readers seemed genuinely interested in them. These have been some of our most shared posts.

mention field guide design
source: mention.com

Interestingly, the Sales Field Guide is among our top five posts for conversions, measured by app signups at 1.5%.

mention content conversion rates
source: mention.com

We’re even going to take this a step further and include all of the best tips and tools in an Ultimate Guide for Startups, to be published in early 2015.

2 – Monitor your competition on social

One of our friends and customers, Workable has seen great success monitoring their competitors using media monitoring. By doing this, they are able to identify members of their target audience — people with the issue their product solves — who are having issues with competing products. They approach these conversations in a friendly and helpful manner without being too pushy or “sales-y.” By doing this, they have secured multiple demos and even won over new brand advocates.

workable twitter chat example
source: twitter.com
mention and workable twitter chat example
source: twitter.com

For even warmer leads, AirCall suggests monitoring your competitor’s name + “alternative.” Using Mention with this approach, they were able to find forum entries and tweets that gave them the opportunity to strike up a casual conversation.

google voice alternative example
source: mention.com

3 – Use Google Trends to refine keywords

Whether you’re identifying keywords to use in your social media messaging, copy on your site, or monitoring for lead generation opportunities, you can leverage Google Trends to discover keywords that will help you reach a new or broader audience.

Google Trends enables you to analyse “search” trends on Google. You won’t get the exact volume of queries per keyword, but you’ll see how the trend evolves and you can compare trends.

For example, AirCall identified a decrease in the use of an industry term that they had been using, and that the vocabulary of their industry is changing.

google trends google voice alternatives
source: google.com

With this in mind, they learned to start communicating to their potential customers’ pain points, rather than just alternatives to their competitors. They were then able to identify new audiences, such as companies looking to hire new country managers — as they likely need a system for communicating internationally.

Wrapping it up

The best thing about social media and content marketing is that although there are experts, no one really knows the end-all be-all approach. We’re all experimenting and testing different tactics to find the optimum results. Get creative with it and measure your results. We like to use Twitter analytics and Buffer analytics to find key terms and other elements that drive the most engagement, such as images.

Do you have any experiments to add?

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn/freedigitalphotos.net

shannon byrne guest post mentionShannon Byrne is the Content & PR Manager for Mention where she crafts words, creates strategies, and recruits loyal brand advocates. She’s based in New York. Say hi @ShannnonB.