The days of one-way communication between a business and its customers is coming to an end. With the prevalence and speed of social media, today’s buyers seek a back-and-forth style of conversation to really get to know brands they want to support.
And social media is the perfect medium for such engagement. This is why companies must use it as a critical tool to cultivate the best possible personal relationships with their customers.
Why social engagement is so important
Several studies show that customers use social media conversations as a very important tool to gauge whether they want to choose that brand or not. In fact, after a positive brand experience on social media, 77% of customers will prefer to work with them rather than their competitors.1
Yes, that’s how important social media is to retain your customers. Each social media platform is different, and you need to know how to maximise your presence and reputation on all of them.
That being said, here’s the key question: how can brands make their presence felt more strongly just using social engagement?
Here are 4 top tips from our content marketing experts.
Tip 1: Encourage Customer Reviews on Social Media
This sounds like a no-brainer, but we still get several queries about it. The more the number of good reviews and testimonials you have, the more new customers will trust you.
Customer spend can go up by 31% for companies that have excellent reviews.2 Research also reveals that customers highly prefer reviews on platforms like Google or Amazon than reviews on a brand’s own website. All the more reason for you to encourage public reviews.
Therefore, if you’re running a business, we highly encourage you to do 3 things:
- Build appropriate channels to accept reviews on social media
- Publicly share your reviews on Google, Amazon or other similar publicly available platforms
- Respond to reviews promptly and engage with the reviewers – not just for positive ones but the negatives as well
Tip 2: Write Like a Person, Not a Corporation
You won’t believe how many companies still resort to ‘corporatese’ – dry, jargon-filled language that is an absolute no-no in today’s world.
Customers are much more likely to want to keep the conversation going when they feel like they are interacting with a real person behind the screen, rather than a robot.
This phenomenon is also known as brand personalisation,and it helps cultivate emotional connections between customers and businesses. This, in turn, vastly improves consumers’ perception of your brand, because they feel more familiar and connected to it.
Tip 3: Take Matters into Your Own Hands
This is the corporate communication version of ‘meet your customers where they are’. Instead of waiting around for users to seek you out and engage with you themselves, try to find what THEY are saying and build conversations there.
Commenting under certain hashtags, participating in social media trends, and responding to users or other companies with fun and bubbly remarks can help generate buzz and maintain positive engagement.
It can also grow your customer base: research shows that nearly 80% of customers said they would buy from brands that shared the same values and beliefs.3
This can help create a personal feeling surrounding your brand, instead of making everything strictly about business. It will also show what you care about, which will again impact your perception.
Tip 4: The Answers Lie in The Questions
Answering your customer’s questions is key to being as transparent as possible and building closer relationships.
Questions can be in the form of tweets under a specific hashtag such as “#Ask____” posted to Twitter, a question-and-answer discussion group on Facebook, or the ‘question’ feature on your business’ Instagram Story. These all allow customers to drop in their inquiries, which in turn allows you to answer them publicly.
Remember: when you answer one person’s query publicly online, everyone connected to them sees your answer. This allows you to reach others who might have a similar question but didn’t know to ask you about it.
In other words, it’s an easy way to reach new potential customers.
Welcoming questions from users on social media about your business and offerings and promptly answering queries shows customers that you are honest and trustworthy, and not afraid to communicate directly.
That might be all they were looking for in a brand, helping them make their choice: you.
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