Social media, love it or hate it, is changing the way businesses operate. One of the most exciting ways social media can be used is to improve the way we communicate with customers. It may seem like these platforms, which are designed to help you reach massive audiences, are a bit impersonal. However, when used well they can strengthen the bond between you and your loyal customers.
Start a Facebook community
You probably already have a Facebook page for your business, but creating a group on the platform creates a whole new way for you to connect with your business. When setting up the group, set the purpose as something related to your product, but not just as a place to discuss the product. For example, a cookware company may create a place for people to share recipes. To have a successful group, you want the discussion to be active. To start, you may want to incentivize customers to join via coupon code. Then, to keep them in the group help to facilitate the conversation in the beginning. As your group grows, your customers will have a place to connect and will keep your brand on their minds.
Participate in discussions
Share news or trends related to your industry and ask customers for their opinions while also sharing yours. A great way to kick off a conversation is by resharing an article or infographic on your page. Keep things tangentially related to your business and avoid topics that are controversial. When people do comment on your post, make an effort to respond to as many as possible. Finally, polls on Facebook or Twitter are a great way to engage users with very minimal effort on their part.
Show support for a cause
Increasingly, consumers want the brands they support to also do some good in the world. A recent study found that 70% of millennials consider social impact when selecting a brand. If you are already involved in philanthropic efforts be sure to share your work via social media. If not, choose a cause you care about and find ways to get involved. You can start a small initiative and still have a great impact. A bonus perk is that employees also tend to become more engaged via social responsibility initiatives.
Ask for opinions and show that you have listened
Social media gives unprecedented access to your customers making it a great way to seek feedback about your product or service. Ask questions via a form or poll and then post a follow-up showing that you have implemented the results. For example, this could be as simple as having customers vote between two new menu items and showing that you have added and are serving the winner. You may even offer a discount on that item for your social media followers.
Appreciate your customers
Social media is the perfect place to thank your customers and let them know how much their business matters to you. Regularly create posts that do this and consider having a customer appreciation day, week, or month event to show your gratitude.
Respond to any issues promptly and kindly
Complaints about your business are difficult to hear and it can be very frustrating when someone contacts you via a public platform to voice their concerns rather than privately. However, how you handle complaints says so much about your brand. Take a deep breath, don’t be defensive, and respond as soon as possible with a plan to rectify the situation. Potential customers know that sometimes mistakes can happen, handling these situations well can actually bring them to trust your brand.
Give a behind the scenes look
People love to feel like they are included and pulling back the curtain on your business is a great way to do this. Make a video about how your team operates or share a sneak peek of an upcoming project. People that love your brand will be interested to see what normally happens behind closed doors.
Don’t be all business, all the time
Of course, you want to use your social media channels to share news and updates about your company, but you should break this information up with other content your customers will be interested in seeing. This will prevent them from scrolling by whenever they see your company name and will boost overall engagement on your page.
Your business is unique and you want this to shine through on your social media platforms. Make sure that your competitor could not just swap in their name and begin running your channels, that is a sure sign you haven’t differentiated yourself. Embrace your brand identity and carry it through to your tone when you talk to customers online. Additionally, use your brand’s fonts and colors whenever possible in collateral for social media.
These ideas will help you bond with your customers increasing their loyalty to your brand. It will also help you to strengthen your brand’s identity which can attract new customers. Do you have a favorite tactic for connecting with clients online? Let us know on Twitter, @KuvioCreative.
Kuvio Creative is a full-service web design and development agency committed to changing the way work is done through both the way we build client relationships and through our workplace practices. See our work at www.kuv.io/work.
Subscribe to our monthly email list for our latest blogs and company news sent straight to your inbox.