So you’ve got yourself a great offline business and are starting to venture into social media…but how on earth do you find all of your existing customers and get them to become friends, fans and followers?

Well you could send them all an email, or perhaps a letter, or how about you call them?

The fact is that most of the time none of the above will work…and even worse they can make you look, well a wee bit silly…

“Hi Bob, I’ve just started using Facebook for my business and thought you might like to follow me”

…The chances are that a conversation like this, no matter the media can come across as a bit lame. The fact is that your customers (like you) are incredibly busy with all the other day to day pressures and a chat about your latest social media exploits aren’t going to cut the mustard.

So how do you get them onboard your new social media networks?

Well it’s obvious really, you need to invite them from within the social media platform itself…after all, what goes on in social media, really needs to stay in social media…but finding all their usernames could prove to be a nightmare!

Well, today I’m going to show you how to find your existing customers within the two biggies – Facebook & Twitter – so that you can invite them or follow them directly within your social media account.

Sound good? Excellent, lets get started…

Both Facebook and Twitter (and many other social networks) have a tool that allows you to see if your customers are using their services and then contact them inviting them to connect with you.

Now this tool was originally intended for personal use but there is absolutely no reason why you can’t use it for your own business as well…just remember to use it for good and not evil :)

IMPORTANT: Don’t set up your Facebook or Twitter Account until you’ve done the steps below. This is because you need to import your customers details at the set-up process.

STEP 1:

Collect a list of your existing customers email addresses. The chances are that you’ll have some sort of CMS or accounting platform where you’ll have them all located simply export them and create a .csv file of them (with one email address on each line). If you’re not sure how to do this, take a look through your software manual or google it online…the simple fact is you need a .csv file before you go any further.

STEP 2:

Go to Google and set-up a new Gmail account (make sure you don’t use an existing account – create one specifically for this task).

STEP 3:

Once you’re in Gmail, select Contacts from the top right menu. Now select More Actions and from the dropdown menu select Import. Now upload the csv file into your new Gmail account.

TWITTER:

Ok now head on over to Twitter and create a new account using the details of your new Gmail account. On the second step of the setting up process (find your friends) select Gmail and Twitter will automatically read all of the email addresses of the contacts within your Gmail account.

Twitter quickly goes to work and looks through the email addresses finding active Twitter users. Now simply follow them and the chances are your customers will almost certainly follow you back the next time they’re online. :)

FACEBOOK:

Facebook is very similar to Twitter, simply create a new Facebook account, again using your new Gmail account. At step one of the set-up process (find friends) select your Gmail account and follow the on screen instructions and just like Twitter all your existing customers who are actively using Facebook will be available to view.

All you have to do now is request to be their friend. :)

So there you go, a pain free way to connect with your existing customers using social media…Now you can go about your social media business building by building relationships, communicating regularly and generally keeping them informed of new products, services, deals etc.

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