Sales pitches are all well and good but the truly successful relationships between customers and businesses come from a place of loyalty and trust. And as the name suggests, social media is a great tool for developing these more personal relationships, thanks to the networking, interacting and communicating aspects. But how exactly can you make the most of the platforms in front of you?
Well, first of all, you need to forget that you’re a brand. Disengage from the marketing part of your brain and speak to your followers as a human being. Ways to do this would be with chatty language, real-time responses to those discussing relevant issues or stories and signing your individual name at the end of any customer service related interactions. Creating a bond between two people is much more organic than trying to create one between business and customer.
As well as the way in which you talk to your followers, you need to make sure it’s consistent and fast. If a customer has a query and you take all day to respond, this isn’t likely to build trust. Use social media CMS systems (such as Hootsuite) to easily manage your platforms and reply to things quickly, as well as keeping your broadcasted messages regular and consistent.
A fan-favourite way of pulling in customers and developing loyalty is to offer rewards and incentives. This, of course, includes things like competitions, which are a good way to gain followers and get some traction around your brand. However, things like that only go so far. The way to really create a strong bond between your brand and your customers is to give them things they haven’t asked for. So maybe one of your followers has tweeted to say they’ve had a bad day or they’re struggling on the run-up to pay day; surprise them with a free product or trial of your service. That kind of reward system will be remembered for a lot longer than an enter-to-win kind.
Like with a lot of things in life, when it comes to social media you should give more than you take. Of course you want to build a follower base and get high conversion rates and lead generation. But if that’s all you’re there to do then your followers will quickly get bored of it. You need to give them things like high quality blog posts or articles, engaging videos, funny polls, personal opinions on any trending topics and the reassurance that your brand is a reliable one. The more you give to social media, the more rewards you’ll start to reap.
Above all, trust is built on transparency. Make sure that your social media platforms scream your brand values and that information such as your website and contact details are prominently placed and easy to find.
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