Here in Boston we have the Museum of Science. One of the popular attractions is the Perpetual Motion Machine.
The machine features balls that roll around on a track setting off all kinds of actions. Once a ball completes its track, it’s returned automatically to the top where it starts the cycle anew.
The machine mesmerizes kids and adults!
The beauty of the Engagement Marketing Cycle is that it’s similar to a perpetual motion machine: once you get it going, it keeps driving people to your business—and the cycle begins again.
The secret to building your own Engagement Marketing Cycle that creates a ‘perpetual business generating machine’ is to build it one piece at a time, ensure each piece works—and then set it in motion!
Start with one social platform or email marketing
I talk to hundreds of small business owners. The biggest complaint? Overwhelm! Everyone is busy. You just do not have time to manage two, three, or four social media platforms, email marketing, a blog, etc. etc.
Relax. As I talk about in the book, it’s OK to start with one platform. Which should you start with? Email is always a good first choice. Not sure which social network? Ask your customers! In my post, Easy Tips for Encouraging Customers to Participate and Give Feedback, I discuss how to use simple survey questions.
Publicize your efforts: Entice them to connect
Once you’re ready to go, tell your customers what you are doing and why they should connect or sign up. Make sure you know what’s in it for them—what’s your engagement value proposition?
Retail businesses can add signage at the cash registers, at the business entrance, or postcards. Nonprofits and business-to-business companies can let customers know through email signatures, business cards, email, and any type of collateral produced.
Add a social share button or email subscription form to your website. Make sure people following you on Facebook, Pinterest, etc. can click back to your site by adding your website URL to your profile settings.
And don’t forget to ask in person—face-to-face or on the phone. Make it part of your business process to get all your customers and prospects into your program—with their permission, of course.
Set your machine in motion: Engage!
Post content that your customers will enjoy, find valuable, and want to share: photos, funny sayings, discounts, event notices. You’ll find lots of engagement tips in the book (see chapters 4 and 8), so I won’t repeat them.
What happens when your Engagement Marketing perpetual motion machine starts humming?
- You build social visibility – A “thumbs up” or comment here or there begins to snowball. You see customers returning to your business and telling others about you through shares and recommendations.
- Traffic increases to your site and your business – You stay top of mind with your customers and prospects. Customers return more frequently. Prospects engage and build interest and confidence.
- Your sales increase – People show up and buy something; those leads turn into new business.
As more people connect and engage with you, you will learn what content drives participation and engagement, which expands your reach. Over time, you will become more confident with your Engagement Marketing efforts—because you can see what you’re doing works!
And like the Perpetual Motion Machine at the Museum of Science, those marketing balls return to the top—to start the process all over again. Magic!