You have thousands of followers and friends on social media and you talk to them daily. What would you do if social media disappeared? How would you keep in touch? It’s unlikely this will happen, but it makes you wonder. Last week, there was a glitch on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp that affected functionality. People panicked, understandably so. Losing touch with customers and potential customers shouldn’t be an option.
I love that social media gives us access to the millions/billions of their users. The keyword here is “access.” They don’t allow us to download contact information easily, out of protection for the users, so we really don’t own the data.
But the success of your business is reliant on a strong customer list. Here are several ways to start collecting data:
- When using a scheduling or appointment setting system (i.e. Calendly, acuity, square, etc.), be sure you’re collecting contact information and keeping a copy in a separate master list.
- Collect contact information at your events or vendor opportunities. You can do so using a paper list or you can use
a texting system like EZ Texting, Simple Texting, currently offering a free trial, or Textedly where people can send a keyword of your choice to a number you provide and get automatically subscribed. There are numerous other options. Choose one that works for your needs.
- Use an email campaign system like MailChimp, Constant Contact, iContact, or ClickFunnels. There are also other options for the email campaign systems, but you get the idea. These systems give you several options for people to easily subscribe like adding a pop-up subscribe box to your website or a plug-in connection to your social media platforms. If you’re in the early stages of building your list of customers, I recommend MailChimp. The “free” option allows you to have 2,000 subscribers and send 12,000 emails per month.
- Offer a giveaway and direct people to a landing page that collects contact information. Email campaign systems have the capability to execute this task. People who want what you have won’t mind giving their contact information nor will they mind receiving more updates from you.
We take for granted that all these systems will continue to work. Be sure you have a back-up of your customer list. It’s your data and it’s priceless. Gather it, protect it, and strategize how you will use it.
You do your customers a favor by keeping in touch and you do your business a favor by keeping in touch with potential customers.
Suzzette Turnbull is a social media speaker and trainer. Also, author of The Ultimate Guide to Getting Started with Social Media.