In essence, social media is a two-way street, where brands can go beyond traditional push marketing, and truly engage with their customers to develop loyalty over time. Here are three tips your company can use to better connect with your customers on social media.
Tip #1: Set Up A System To Never Miss A Notification
If you are publishing high-quality content on your social media accounts and growing your audience substantially, chances are that your followers and your customers are going to interact with your brand. This is a virtuous cycle you want to sustain, in order to gain ambassadors who, in turn, will spread your content by word of mouth and contribute to the growth of your audience.
A proven way to achieve this is through responsiveness, by making sure you are aware of and replying promptly to all the comments, @mentions and private messages sent your way. Every interaction represents an opportunity to demonstrate how much you care about your audience, by thanking raving feedback and listening/acting on less flattering sentiments.
This is something you can achieve by connecting your social media accounts to your customer service hub/software, taking advantage of the exhaustive email and push notification systems offered by most social networks or using an audience engagement solution such as Loomly.
Why this matters: According to the principle of reciprocity, people tend to respond to a positive action with another positive action, making it possible for your brand to build continuing relationships and exchanges.
Tip #2: Build A Customer Community
Being present on social media with publicly-accessible accounts is the foundation of a successful digital marketing strategy, as it empowers your brand to shine and fuel the top of your funnel with prospective customers.
One opportunity to take things to the next level is actually to keep leveraging social media down the road by creating — and maintaining — a closed community dedicated to your existing customers, for instance with a Facebook Group.
This approach allows you to go beyond the transactional nature of your relationship with customers and offer them a chance to connect with other people that share similar interests — to ultimately bond over your brand and/or product in a spontaneous fashion.
In turn, this provides you with the opportunity to reward the most engaged members of the group with intangible perks, such as sneak peeks into new collections, early access to private sales and invites to exclusive corporate events.
Why this matters: Creating a sense of belonging appeals to the human need that your customers have to be an accepted member of a group and triggers an emotional connection between your customers and your brand.
Tip #3: Monitor Your Brand Everywhere Online
The more you grow, the higher the likelihood is of your customers to about your brand on channels you do not own or control. However, just because customers do not ask you a question directly, does not mean you should not answer it, especially regarding your brand.
By setting up an alert on your brand name, either with a simple (and free) Google Alert or with a more premium solution such as Mention, you will be notified every single time someone on the internet uses your brand’s name.
This is a unique opportunity to join relevant conversations and overdeliver by providing support — or even simply advice — where and when prospective and existing customers may not expect it.
Why this matters: The feeling of surprise is one of the most intense emotional drivers a human can experience. When you connect with customers in unexpected ways, your brand accrues sentimental capital and builds goodwill.
A Significant Competitive Advantage For Your Company
In the digital era, where abundance of choice is the norm, building a strong brand people can relate to and identify with is a necessary success factor. Better connecting with your customers is the way to go to develop an emotional bond, build trust and increase loyalty. This is one of the smartest investments your company can make.
Due to its natural social component, social media is an excellent place to start. Setting up a process to always respond to your audience’s interactions, building an exclusive and rewarding community for your existing customers and monitoring your brand outside of your owned channels are three options to consider.