How To Leverage Social Media For Customer Engagement: 8 Incredible Tips?
When it comes to social media, digital marketing is often not enough. Yes, creating content to add value to your audience is a great way to attract traffic, but your customers will appreciate your brand more with some personal touch.
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In this age of smart consumers, everyone has a digital presence through which they form firm opinions on brands. So a particular business site that interacts with its customers will always be preferred over one that is flooded with marketing campaigns and sales tactics.
Customers want to know that they matter to your business. So make that extra effort and go beyond traditional selling – build strong brand loyalty with customer engagement.
Competition is fierce in every industry – which means that your business model is shared by thousands of other companies. In this case, the only edge you can aim for is – the customer experience that you provide consistently. Reward programs, customer grievance redressal, and constant customer support will go a long way in evolving your brand.
According to Andrea Fishman, a PwC analyst, “we’re moving towards an experience economy.”
More importantly, providing a holistic experience to your customers is the key challenge to overcome. For example, if your brand communicates well with its customers on social media, but some rude salespeople in the store offend them, then it is fair to say that your brand has failed at offering great customer service. Remember – every communication channel matters. This principle holds for B2C as well as B2B relations.
Kevin Stirtz, the Strategy Manager at Thomson Reuters, puts it best when he says:
Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they’ll come back. We have to be great every time or we’ll lose them.
35% of the customer base now prefers social media instead of traditional methods like email or phone service. While customer satisfaction is one outcome of engagement on social media, brand loyalty is the coveted prize.
Loyal customers will not rush to your competitors at the first instance of dissatisfaction, but rather find out the root cause of the problem and wait for you to address it.
With that preface, I’ve curated a list of tips that can potentially improve your customer engagement strategy.
- Establishing a Real Conversation
- Personifying Your Brand
- Rewarding Your Loyal Customers
- Using Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Engaging in Social Shopping
- Handling Customer Reviews
- Posting User-Generated Content
- Measuring Your Returns
According to Ecoconsultancy, a digital analytics company, 79% of the customers prefer live chats over automated replies when it comes to customer service.
So, while chatbots are a great technology since they save time, they’re not the best for customer service. Chatbots may be programmed to provide accurate information in response to a particular query, but recognizing the emotional tone of the query isn’t possible with today’s technology. And that’s where the personal touch is lost. So while chatbots may be ideal for a generic question, they’re not the answer for customer engagement.
Imagine a scenario where you need urgent technical support for a product, but when you try to contact customer support, all you receive is a lousy response asking for your email ID and “promising” to get back to you.
Yeah, that sucks.
When it comes to customer engagement on social media, don’t try to automate the process. Invest in talent acquisition, if you must, to raise a customer support team, because the cost of lost customers is far more (coupled with negative word-of-mouth publicity).
This is why the best chatbot builders offer the option to transfer the chat to a live agent, should the customer feel the need to speak with a person.
When you bring customer service online, you instantly kill long wait times and automated answering systems that currently plague phone services. And live chats offer multi-tasking for the customer, as well as serving multiple customers for your customer service executive.
We’ve established that real conversations are better for customer service. Since customer support teams essentially become the front line of your business, keeping them happy is just as important. Make sure they believe in your product because that’s where the motivation to deliver great service to customers stems in.
Your customers are likely to remember your brand if they identify a personality within it. Being witty and “sassy” on social media always draws attention – and prompts readers to share the post on their profiles. Remember, however, never to insult someone while trying to be funny – that’s going to blow up in your face. Another idea is to use the website theme that represents your social theme. For Instance, If you have a comic theme on your social profile then go for a comic theme for your website as well! .Alternatively, creating mascot characters for your brand also helps customers relate to your brand. For example, Content Studio, one of the social media management tools.
To portray your brand’s personality, you can also consider sharing great content that is currently popular – use the content discovery feature available in most apps to stay updated on trending topics. Post memes that may be relevant to your business – people love it when professional bodies(your company) dabble in some light-hearted humor from time to time.
Allotting a few bucks to this specific endeavor is totally worth it; customer acquisition costs far more than customer retention. If you run a food delivery service, sending custom discounts, selectively, only to loyal customers will encourage them to buy more, while also helping them feel special.
A/B testing is a great way to determine what works best for your customers. Roll out two or three different loyalty programs and see how your customers react to them. This process is more fruitful if large data is available.
Everyone loves free stuff, and your customers are no different. Offering free points – or a small gift as a thank you works wonders to improve your brand’s reputation.
With a large customer base – especially with B2B sales – tracking the position of your leads in the sales funnel can get pretty hard, and you’re going to lose out on your leads if they feel they’re not your priority.
Customer Relationship Management is a strategy to manage all customer relationships for the entirety of the customer’s lifecycle. Today, there are multiple CRM software tools that companies can use to track their interaction with their customers. CRM tools are a good way to organize an otherwise cluttered task.
According to Salesforce, without CRM, a lot of time is wasted on administration instead of selling, and valuable details are lost in the process.
Social shopping is an e-commerce strategy where you use the social networks of your customers to share and advertise the product that they bought from you. The idea is simple – people are more inclined to buy a certain product if they see that their friends have bought it too.
Facebook and Instagram utilize this concept to improve engagement on posts. On viral posts, you are shown comments by your friends first, followed by most liked comments, because you’d be more likely to view the content where there’s some activity by your friends.
Positive customer reviews do wonders for the brand’s reputation on online platforms, but negative customer reviews are equally damaging, if not more.
However, with the right response to negative feedback, damage control is possible. Aggrieved customers will be mollified if your brand interacts with them in an understanding manner.
Negative reviews are actually a great way to improve your productivity because they offer a different angle on the matter. Accept all feedback objectively without any emotions. It’s important to respond politely to all reviews – even the ones that are downright brutal.
Ask how the product can be improved. By creating a sense of participation, disappointed customers will stop viewing your brand as the enemy and value your efforts.
The best way to grab your customers’ attention is by posting their content on your social media. Make good use of the provision for URL placement on your Instagram through Bio Links. This will give your brand immense traffic. Start a campaign on Instagram spearheaded by a unique, catchy hashtag. Select the best picture that your customers share and repost it on your profile.
People love recognition, especially from brands they love or brands that command a good following on social media. By starting campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you’re endearing your brand to your customers.
While there is no single metric to measure the return on investment (ROI) for customer engagement, the following can be rough estimates to gauge it:
- website traffic
- social mentions on other sites
- likes and comments on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn
- View and clicks on Facebook and Instagram
- Click-through rates in email outreach campaigns
More and more businesses are adopting social media as the dominant marketing and customer engagement platform using various social media management tools. The reasons are obvious – it’s extremely cost-effective and it allows you to come in close contact with your customers while helping you keep track of social media KPIs. The future of social media is bright – it’s time to jump on the bandwagon!