Keeping it real: How to connect with your customers through social media

nordwood-themes-359015-unsplash.jpg

Social media is an important extension of your brand and the perfect place to share your brand personality and grow your community of brand enthusiasts. While some may not see social media as the most personal platform for building relationships with customers, if it’s done the right way, you can make meaningful connections with your online audience.

Providing a great experience for your audience on social media can increase customer satisfaction and build brand loyalty. While a lot of sales do come from social media, your customers primarily come there to have fun and socialise so it is vital to tailor your marketing strategies for these platforms to meet their needs and expectations. Here are our top eight ways you can connect with your online audience through social media and keep your customers happy:

1. Ask for Your Audience’s Opinions

Social media has become a great way to reach out to your customers. Gathering information about the preferences and opinions of your audience has never been easier. Social media users love to share their opinions online, and your fans will often be more than willing to share their thoughts about your products. All you need to do is give them something to share their opinion about. One of the simplest ways to go about this is by creating a poll, or even just posting a question with your content.

2. Implement that Feedback

If you stay active on social media and keep in touch with your audience, it’s often easy to tell what resonated with them and what didn’t. It’s important to listen to your customers to find out how you can improve your business. While collecting feedback is crucial to a successful business, it’s almost pointless if you don’t actually use that feedback in a meaningful way. Try creating a spreadsheet with all of the customer feedback your receive, separating complaints and suggestions. You should handle the complaints in a professional manner and integrate any useful suggestions into your business strategy. This should be done on a regular basis because when your customers can see that you are listening to them they will be more forthcoming with vital feedback in the future.

3. Show Your Customers Appreciation

Letting your customers know they are appreciated can help keep them happy, as well as give you an edge over your competitors. Showing your gratitude to your social media audience should be a regular activity of your marketing strategy. Connecting with your online audience on a personal level can truly resonate with your customers. For example, if your fans mention you on social media or create content featuring your brand, take the time to reply to them or share their message.

4. Solve Issues Promptly

One of the best ways to keep your customers happy is still to solve any issues they may have with your company quickly, whether it’s a complaint or a question. This shows that you actually care about your customers and value their business. This means you need to constantly be monitoring social media in order to answer any complaints and questions promptly. Having someone dedicated to this can greatly benefit your business. You should also have a plan in place for dealing with complaints.

When you turn an unhappy customer into a satisfied one, they’ll be more likely to remain a customer, and may become an advocate for your brand if they have a positive experience with you. Monitoring social media on a constant basis can also prevent a social media crisis from spiraling out of control by allowing you to immediately respond to anything that comes up. A crisis on social media can make or break your brand, so it’s important to deal with it immediately.

5. Use Video

Use more interesting methods, such as video, to share your product or service with your online audience. Just telling your customers about your business can be pretty boring. Utilise the rise in popularity of video content to capture details about your products and your brand. Users are more engaged with video on social media than text, meaning that they are more likely to pay attention and remember your content. Gain the interest of your audience, and then keep it by continuously creating informative and entertaining videos.

6. Give Them an Inside Look

Give your audience a look at what goes on behind-the-scenes at your business. This can help gain more trust from your customers and create a meaningful connection. People like to feel included. By sharing videos or pictures of your team working or anything else the public doesn’t see, you’re making your customers feel like they’re included in your business. This also makes your brand seem more human and allows your customers to learn more about you.

7. Don’t Make It All Business

Using social media to share information about products or services, what’s happening with your business, or other things related to your business is definitely important, but it’s also important to make sure your social media presence isn’t just all about your business. Along with your business-related content, be sure to share other content that your audience may be interested in, such as informative or inspirational articles, an interesting video, or even a funny meme. Try to have fun with your audience or they will quickly lose interest if you all you are doing is blasting them with sales tactics and self-promotion. A content calendar can be a big help in making sure you share a variety of posts.

8. Keep it original

The allure of social media is to create more intimate relationship, offer exclusive insights to your brand and design a unique experience for your customers. The key to keeping your audience engaged is by adding value to their lives with through your original branded content. If you are just sharing your online catalogue shots or reposting memes, then where is the incentive for your audience to want to socialise with you online? The chances are that if they are a fan of your brand then they have seen it all before. You want to create fresh content that commands their attention mid-scroll. What can you teach them, share with them and inspire them with? By creating on-brand content that adds value to your customer you will be able to invite them in a little closer while showcasing your brand at the same time.