Supporting Clients Via Social Media
Once your customers are on your platform, you have the ability to remotely support them in a deeper fashion then you have been able to in the past.
There are many different ways that you can do this but still my preference is to build a Facebook group for a select group of clients. This allows you to really tailor the message that you wanna put across while keeping the social element really strong.
Some of my longest standing hard-core customers have stayed not because of me but because they’ve made some of the best friends and they see training as a weekly social outing.
Facebook remains my favourite platform to create social groups on for my clients. There are pros and cons to how you approach this but having several small groups tailored to the specific clients that follow one specific course can be beneficial so that they have the opportunity to communicate with not only you but each other at a much more personal level than just a Facebook page. The main difference being groups will allow them to create a post.
The flipside of this is to have one group for your business which will obviously end up growing to a much larger group then several small groups but usually takes a little less admin time because all the posts are in one place. However don’t underestimate that now you’re online your ability to sell all over the world means that getting up first thing in the morning you’re likely to be met with posts from people who are training while you are in bed
Another pro of having a large group is that clients that are in the early stages of training will have the opportunity to see more advanced training from your older standing clients which can be really inspiring. And those clients that have been with you for awhile are likely to have loyalty and promote your business through word-of-mouth which is the best form of advertising you could wish for.
Now you do have a few options available to you when it comes to personalising your feedback for the clients that are on your course.
And as always there are pros and cons on how you approach it, we have tried giving feedback randomly as it appears in groups and it can work well but the larger your business grows the more time this takes away from you and it can be easy to be sucked in to social media for longer periods then you had hoped or planned in your day leaving you less time to train your own dogs or invest in other areas of your business.We have also tried giving feedback during specific days and specific times, for instance we are currently using a Feedback Friday which is open for 24 hours On our sent for six course, clients must post the videos for feedback within that 24-hour Period to receive feedback. This can be quite intense when the groups become large but as long as you set aside a specific period of time that will allow you to get through all the feedback it can seem more manageable and less distracting.
Having given feedback on literally thousands of videos I would highly recommend that you give them a clear criteria as to how long the videos can be or you can expect to receive ridiculously long videos of up to 15 minutes long.
The biggest problem with having a large group however is that they often turn into a generic dog groups which means Sandra that’s been on a recall course starts asking for separation anxiety advice and then Karen from your puppy class starts giving advice because she had a dog, when she was kid, that stopped suffering from sep anx when they hung orange peel in the conservatory in the Spring.
Now the smaller groups will inevitably start to help each other out as they mature and you have longer standing clients in them but usually the advice is a little more sound because it from you in the first place.
Which brings us to having clear rules. We would recommend that you have several smaller groups for specific courses. This insures that the content is specific to the topic that you taught on that course. Within each group you make it very clear that posts are for staying on topic and that advice should really only be dispensed by the dog trainers. Now that being said you’d be surprised at the amount of times in our groups where people will quite happily recommend other Dog Training schools yet would be equally horrified if one of their customers was to recommend a different dog trainer for a specific issue. There are two ways to deal with this problem the first is to be open and just hope that any recommendations are sensible ones the other option is to sensor all recommendations on other Dog Training businesses. This prevents you having to say “actually Janice. Such and such is a really crappy trainer”
Using the lines that you can’t vouch for every trainer because you don’t know how they work is not only honest but gives a blanket rule for the group.
Engagement is the name of the game when it comes to social media and you can keep your groups alive and kicking If you’re willing to invest 30 minutes to an hour at a set time each week to do a live video.
This can be a Q&A on your sofa, could be a webinar type jobby, a live class or even a demo of you training something that’s been a common problem for them.
Don’t underestimate the value of supporting your clients though.
Oh and just to be clear. You’re my favourite.