According to the 2018 Sensis Social Media Report1, 64 per cent of consumers are more likely to trust a brand if they interact with their customers in a positive way on social media. This means that if you want to build customer loyalty, engaging with your customers on social media is a must.
“Your customers want to hear from you, but at the same time they don’t want to be bombarded by marketing and sales messages,” explains Deb Sinclair, a community engagement expert from Liquid Mango Consulting.
Here, Deb shares some strategies that can help strike the perfect balance and connect with customers, suppliers and stakeholders on a deeper level on social media.
1. Continue the conversation
“It doesn’t matter if a customer buys from you once, or you work with them for a year – get to know them, start conversations and do what you can to support them,” Deb says.
Think about how your customer might prefer to communicate, and reach out via the appropriate channel – for example email, phone, SMS or Facebook Messenger. “Whatever your customers' preference, be where they are, and make it easy for them to engage and communicate with you,” Deb says. “Don’t focus on the transactions, focus on building relationships.”
2. Get personal
To develop your social media engagement, Deb recommends getting to know your customers on a personal level. “I’m not advising you to dive into every detail of their lives, but do ask them how they are, ask them about their family, about their weekend,” she says.
Remember, your customers are people, not numbers on a spreadsheet. “Get to know and understand what drives your customers, and take the time to invest in them,” Deb suggests.
3. Build trusting relationships
Research (Nature Communications, 2017) shows that kindness and generosity go a long way in business and life – and Deb believes this is just as true for social media.
“Invest time in your customers and build relationships with them; this will help you build trust and credibility so you’ll be top of mind when they're ready to buy,” Deb says. “Emotionally connected customers will be more satisfied with your customer experience and more likely to do business with you over a longer period of time,” she says.
4. Provide a seamless customer experience
“It doesn’t matter if a customer walks into your business, calls you on the phone or interacts with you on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram – they expect a consistent experience at every touch point,” Deb says.
The expert recommends making sure that your branding and customer experience are seamless and consistent across all areas of your business, including your social media. “This will allow you to deeply connect with your customers,” she says.
1 Sensis is a marketing services company in Australia that holds a wealth of data on small to medium businesses, social media and brands.