How to use your current customers to gain new ones
With hundreds of thousands of loyal followers across the UK, our Plusnet Pioneers are here to offer their advice on how to grow your customer base whilst keeping current customers happy. We spoke to the founders of mums’ social app, Mush and fitness brand, LDN Muscle, for their top tips.
With the right approach, and a clear understanding of who your audience is, you can reach thousands of potential customers through the power of social media.
In this feature, our Plusnet Pioneers give their expert advice on how you can use social media to effectively connect with your customers and make them ambassadors for your brand.
These entrepreneurs share their very different and engaging marketing strategies for gaining new customers as well as how to keep the ones you have.
strong>Mush’s two-part tried and tested marketing strategy:
1. Create brand advocates and ambassadors to inspire a sense of belonging
For Mush , helping mums meet other mums in the same situation as them to deal with the challenges of isolation during motherhood created a lot of goodwill amongst its growing number of users.
It was clear the Mush app had struck a chord with mums across the country who would be only too willing to help spread the word.
What started out as a few hopeful emails, encouraging their customers to help get Mush’s name out into the world, grew into the Mush Mums Marketing Massive (the 4Ms) which, according to Sarah and Katie, is now a hugely popular brand ambassador programme.
Katie explains how the ‘4Ms’ came about:
“After about a month of a mum being part of the community, we’d send out an email saying something along the lines of: ‘If you’d like to help us, we’re a set of mums, this is the story of us and this is what we’re looking to achieve. If you want to help us with our mission, get in touch’, and amazingly a lot of people did.
“We’d send them an email telling them what they could do to help, which would typically include asking them to name-drop Mush on Facebook or in WhatsApp groups.
“And then we thought, ‘Can we launch the programme on a much larger scale?’ We’ve got great goodwill within the community and they really want to help, but are we doing enough to help them?
“I then spoke to the founder of a very famous social network for mums who said, ‘You’re in a position where you’ve got some funding, so you can’t expect anyone to promote your brand for free’.
“So, we started this paid brand ambassador programme using the funding we had received. We called it the 4Ms– the Mush Mums Marketing Massive – which has really taken off and makes mums feel part of something a bit fun and a bit silly. It started from that point.
“The basic premise is that we’ll send mums all the kit that will make you part of Mush’s journey, with the target of promoting the app in your area with posters, flyers, social media etc. We then set challenges for the 4Ms to work together and share what’s working for each of them. The response has been amazing.
“We’ve now got the 4M family who form a huge part of our business in terms of product testing.”
“This programme is unique in that the mums we’re talking to are often on maternity leave and spending quite a bit of time on their own. We’re creating a sense of belonging and these mums are our best advocates for talking about our brand.”
2. Run micro-events and create your own social media campaigns
“We’ve found the most effective thing to do to engage customers is to get our mums’ community to run micro-events around the country like our #mumday. It makes our job a lot easier.
“We knew that mums were putting on these events anyway so we harnessed that to see how many we could get on one day and we had over 200 around the country, which is great.
“My advice is that you should always charge for events otherwise people don’t show up. You don’t have to charge loads of money, just a nominal fee so people commit to it. It’s about knowing your audience, and for us we have to have buggy-friendly venues, which comes with a cost.
LDN Muscle’s tried and tested marketing tips: Prioritise social media
LDN Muscle has achieved incredible organic growth through its social media pages by carefully creating fitness and workout content. By thoughtfully considering the content it runs and knowing what works for their existing customers, LDN Muscle has reached hundreds of thousands of fans across various social media channels.
Tom explains how they have engaged with their followers, and how their personal social media accounts have played a part in their success.
“Our personal social media accounts have been key to the success of our business because they widen the type of content you can engage followers with. With personal accounts, you can entice people in by posting about things they like, that will in turn lead them to our business pages. Then they’re following you, and they learn more about your business.
“For example, loads of young guys who like cars follow my personal account because I post a lot of content about the supercars I drive. If it was just another fitness page, they may not have been interested in following me, but they enjoy the car content and then explore the fitness. You tempt them in with your personal account and then show them your business account.”
“Our social media pages are quite varied because we sell a lot of products now. It was easier at the beginning to market on social media when we just sold digital products because the focus was quite easy to drive.
“Now we’re trying to expand our business by marketing education, clothing and supplements, alongside digital content. We’re still focusing on fitness but our social media posts have inevitably become more varied.”
“Our customer base for LDNM is really wide. I think we’re about a 50/50 split for male and female and then the age range is completely spread, which is how we’ve marketed ourselves on social media by making it as wide as possible and not too niche.
“Sometimes you can put up a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout and people will just be there for the food, and sometimes you put up a protein shake but some people would rather engage with the fitness content.
“Every single social media post won’t reach every single person because the market is so widespread, so we put up a variety of content to appeal to a broad range of people.”
Whilst you might vary your approach to social media marketing as your business grows, staying true to your original business identity is essential to attracting and keeping customers.
As Tom explains:
“On social media, our followers really like honesty and a slightly controversial post every now and again. For example, if a reality TV star starts posting about fat burners or some unproven weight loss training scheme, we’ll be the first to put something out on social media that questions whether it is the right advice or product to promote.
“We’ve always been like that and our followers enjoy that. That’s pretty much where we entered the market and how we’ve positioned ourselves.
“Staying true to our brand is what has separated us from other competitor accounts so continuing with that approach is key.”
Interviews were conducted as part of our Plusnet Pioneers programme, an exciting series of advice articles to help small businesses grow and reach their potential. We’ll be sharing more useful tips so please visit our Plusnet Pioneers section.