Social media has considerably impacted the way businesses interact with their customers. Exchanges can take place in real-time, 24/7, and most people engage with social media daily, which provides an opportunity to shape those relationships into repeat businesses and clientele. Having strong relationships with your customers can have benefits beyond a purchase, a loyal client will promote and build your brand and in turn, can be mutually beneficial. Read ahead for our top 6 tips on how to foster real relationships with your customers through social media.
You will have opportunities to create all sorts of content using your social media accounts. Much of it will be positive and promote your business, however, providing free content to clients that will add value to their lives is important to have them see you as beneficial to them. This can still be promotional such as discounts, free items, and coupons, but free knowledge is hugely attractive to social media users. Share blogs and videos to offer information to your audience. This will not only bring in new customers but act as a reminder to your past clients that you still provide value to them and are worth checking in with.
A Facebook group, a community on Reddit, Slack, or WhatsApp, or even using branded hashtags will keep people aware of and talking about you and your brand, even when you aren’t promoting a product or selling them a service. Word of mouth and referral marketing is effortlessly remarkable for bringing in new clients. Not only will people continue to shop with you, but they feel confident talking to their friends and family about you. Staying engaged with the group through your comments, responses, shares, and infusing some added value will keep the community active even when you can’t be there consistently.
Another way to build your community online is to have social media specifically dedicated to customer service. Search “customer support” on Twitter to see some successful examples of how companies have implemented this solution. Using this account, you can communicate explanations and provide support in real-time in a public space. Not only will your clients feel heard, but they will also feel directly connected to you. If you cannot maintain 24/7 monitoring, be sure to put a mini-disclaimer such as “requests will be responded to within 12-24 hours” or something to that effect. Consider adding a live chat widget that uses a customer’s first name to personalize your client experience to create an even more solid relationship with them.
Conducting surveys and polls and asking for customer feedback will build their trust and loyalty in your product or service. When you ask a customer what they think about something, they feel engaged in the creative process of building your brand. The next step is showing your customers that you care about their input by implementing their suggestions. This will not be possible with everything…the customer sometimes has no idea what goes into elements of a product. However, if you can adopt a suggestion to accommodate a need that a customer has identified, it shows that you have heard them and are willing to work for what they want.
Social listening is the process of understanding the online conversation about your business by monitoring mentions of your brand name or related topics. Using social listening, you can utilize what people are saying about you to improve and modify your current practices. You can get informed about your customer’s “pain points” and make decisions about product development. Social listening helps you provide valuable answers to the questions your customers are asking.
Everyone loves free stuff! This is why running giveaways and contests are so successful in building relationships with clients. You can double-down on your promotion by asking your audience to utilize your brand name hashtag and to tag friends and family as their entry ticket. This gets people excited and invites new clients to the social media table. Reward your social media followers with flash sales, discount codes or freebies to encourage sharing and engagement and make them feel that they are receiving benefits by staying engaged.
People love recognition online! Customers enjoy sharing and tagging their products on their social media, especially when they are rewarded for it. If someone is using your product or service, encourage them to share it online and tag you. Then (with their permission) share that content and tag them for exposure on your page. This not only helps you fill your social media with positive and engaging content, but it’s free!
At Van Patter Group, we understand the importance of building your social media relationships as you build and grow your business. Social media should remain fun and engaging for everyone so your potential clients can see what you have to offer even in a casual atmosphere. Send us a message today to find out more about how we can help you build your presence on social media. We can’t wait to hear from you!