Every business is dependent on its customer base for survival. The stronger the relationship is between the business and the consumer; the better positioned the business is to effectively sell.
It’s not always about the amount of money a business invests in marketing campaigns or even how well-known the brand is that determines its success, but rather its ability to win and engage a group of loyal followers.
Thanks to social media, businesses all over the world have the unique opportunity to communicate on a personal level with their customers. The strategy is simple to understand but using it effectively can be a challenge for many small businesses who have no clue how to effectively engage their followers on social media.
If your social media plan is to simply create a business profile and randomly post deals promoting your products, your time will be better spent doing other things as your chances of success will be very slim.
The best companies at leveraging social media to grow their businesses are those who master the art of creating an emotional and lasting connection with their fan base.
But how do the pros do it?
Below are five useful tips on how to interact with your customers on social media.
Post user-generated content
The hardest part of marketing your business on social media is undoubtedly figuring out what type of content to post. Creating a campaign that leverages content that your followers had a role in shaping can be an extremely effective way of developing posts that actually get shared.
Generating content, which includes customers, makes them feel part of the topic, so they are more likely to bring in ideas as if they were adding value to their own company.
In 2014, Starbucks launched a White Cup Contest and asked their customers to create doodles on their Starbucks cups and submit pictures as contest entries. The person who submitted the winning entry would have their drawing be the template for a limited edition cup. The result was nearly 4,000 entries in a span of three weeks. User generated content bridges the gap between the seller and the customer.
If your customers like what you post, they are also more willing to share your content with their friends and effectively help you reach a wider market.
More than promotions
If self-promotion dominates your social media profile, people will find it monotonous and will be less likely to revisit your page. Using social media channels requires creativity in order to keep your customers engaged and loyal.
Be sure to include appropriate life-related matters, social affairs, economic issues, and current events to keep your content lively and generate interest. Once you’ve attracted them with interesting content, you can then add your promotional posts, but in a way that does not make your posts seem solely sales oriented.
A great example of this is the popular skateboarding site, Shralpin, which shares informative how-to guides that are sure to resonate with their audience.
Adding value first to the lives of your customers should be a top priority whenever you are publishing a social media post.
Depending on what you post and the type of goods or services you offer, many customers will submit inquiries through your social media channels.
You will only secure loyalty and repeat visits if you respond to their feedback in a timely manner.
Be easy to find
The harder it is to recognize your business’ profile, the less likely it is that people will follow you on social media.
Use simple profile names and pictures that are directly related to your organization’s trademarks to ensure that people will easily recognize your business. Using different names and unrelated profile details creates inconsistency between you and your business, which will discourage customers from following your accounts.
It is also a great idea to link to your social media profiles from the homepage of your website.
A majority of people use social media for fun and socializing, so you should use it as a platform to have fun as well. If your followers find your social pages uninteresting, they will eventually become bored with your content and stop following you. Be sure to post jokes and other interesting content to keep your customers returning to your pages.
Overall, the use of social media can be a powerful addition to your marketing strategy for those who use it effectively.
Don’t use social media to just “be on social media," make sure its use has a positive impact (and return) for your business.