You have a great product. You have a great team behind you. Your social media is, well, it could be better.
In today’s world, your business practices don’t stop in the conference room. Now, more than ever, consumers are helping you create your brand by social media engagement. By executing a well-run and growing consumer engagement strategy, your business grows in consumer value and builds brand loyalty.
You need social media to promote your business, but what you shouldn’t do is run a stream of “Hey, look at me” posts without any actual interaction with your customer. Building followers is like consumers building trust in your brand. They are there because they trust that you’re going to give them something they’re looking for. While most brands see social media as just an output, be the company that creates involvement from both sides. This starts with creating all types of content, expressing interest in consumer opinion, and turning criticism into something positive. A little bit of showing your consumers you care about them will go longer than any amount of money you can put into making something “go viral.”
Having content for content’s sake will no longer cut it. Sure, content marketing is needed to pull in new customers and expand your reach, but custom content is what’s needed to engage and encourage brand loyalty with your existing customer base. The most reliable way to address customer concerns and questions (on your terms) is to address them through your own SM channels. Example: Are you updating product features? Create a blog/video/instructo-graph explaining how great these new features are and how they work. Your consumer’s questions are (mostly) answered in one post, making them feel heard and appreciated.
Whatever your content is, it needs to feel like a person is actually writing it. Even the biggest brand names need to have a relatability factor to the consumer. Consumers are smart enough to see through bot-ness, and the more lifelike your content is, the more people will be willing to engage in it, versus just scrolling by.
We’re all busy, and our time is valuable. So it should come as no surprise that the number one thing consumers want out of their customer support is speed. Surveys suggest that social media users who contact a brand are expecting a response within 60 minutes, compared to the 24hr leeway that is made for email communication.
Now you have the time to respond to your customers, what do you say and HOW should you say it? When on a limited character platform such as Twitter, it can be hard to convey the right message and tone. But, the right tone is different for every customer, and the best thing you can do is follow their lead. If the customer is using emojis and has a general easy-going approach, you have the green light to return. Does your customer seem angry and frustrated? Try approaching more empathetically, and learn when to take the conversation from public to private.
The number one reason customers leave is because they feel you don’t care about them. More and more, customers are moving their CS complaints to public, online platforms, where everyone can see. Having a dedicated customer service manager for social media allows for a fast resolution of customer issues. Not only should they be monitoring your own SM platforms, but looking for any likes, mentions, and hashtags regarding your brand or products.
So, who’s the person that’s going to see this through? Chances are you’ll find a special person, already in your organization who is passionate and knowledgeable about your brand with amazing communication skills. Give that person the opportunity to be the voice of your brand by running your platforms, writing blogs, and creating exciting content that makes people want to log in over and over.
Don’t think of consumer engagement as one more thing to add to your busy plate. Think of it as the best real-time way to know where you stand and what you can do to make your business stand even taller. Over time, your products will get better, and you’ll have the consumer base to prove it.