Working hard on finding new customers is smart, but working hard to keep the ones you’ve already got, is the wisest thing you could ever do for your business. To get you off the ground running and help you nurture customer relationships, we’ve created a short guide on tried-and-true social media strategies aimed at establishing brand loyalty. There is no secret-sauce to retaining customers. How successful companies nurture customer relationships in this digital day and age, may still seem like a mystery to you. But we promise, by the end of this article, you’ll walk away as an expert in leveraging social media to build customer loyalty.
Loyal Customers Are The Best Brand Advocates
Loyal customers have and always will be the best advocates a brand could wish for. Social media makes it easy to share your love for a company with a network of friends, family members and other followers. What we call ‘electronic word of mouth’, has a major influence on purchase decisions in this uber-connected word. With more than 3.4 billion social media users worldwide, it would be a shame if you’d pass on this massive opportunity to build and sustain your customer relationships. But brand loyalty has to be earned. It’s the result of hard work and showing that you truly care about your customers. If you want your social media efforts to fuel long-term engagement with your brand, you need to be actively engaging with your followers and enhancing your online image. In a previous article, we’ve discussed the importance of social proof and its role in acquiring and retaining customers. Today, we’ll focus on social media strategies that’ll help you increase customer loyalty.
Leveraging the Power of Social Media To Build Strong Customer Relationships
When it comes to social media followers, quality outweighs quantity. Engagement and enthusiasm make up for what you may be lacking in numbers. Your focus should, therefore, be on winning passionate social media followers. The kind that will become advocates for your brand. In order to attract these people, you need to focus on creating an emotional connection between your audience and your products and services. A connection that’s powerful enough to inspire your fans’ loyalty.
The following social media strategy tips will help you:
- Stand out from the crowd
- Boost your brand awareness
- Show the value of your products and services
- Turn one-time shoppers into loyal brand ambassadors
1. Create a Campaign
Whether you’re new to social media or have been working in the field since people first started tweeting and liking, you’ll always start this journey with building awareness around your brand. It’s no secret that social media can help you spread the word about your brand, but the best way to do this is by running a paid campaign.Customised Facebook and Instagram ads that target your specific audience are a great way to boost brand awareness and generate first leads through social media. Ads that resonate with your target audience, familiarise them with your brand and greatly increase the chance that they’ll think of you when it’s time to make a purchase decision.
Run A Competition
You’ve probably seen other brands host giveaways and promotions before. Social media competitions are a great way to:1. Accumulate likes and increase brand awareness.2.Entice people to buy your goods or to re-share your content.3. Establish a sense of community.
2. Create a Strong Brand Voice
Every time you share something on social media, you’re exercising your brand voice. Because, each time you post an image, story or tweet, your followers learn a little more about you. As time goes on, memorable bits and pieces of information create a lasting impression.
How can you make sure to get it right?
- Outline your brand voice. Know what kind of language and tone your brand uses in communications and what purpose messages serve.
- Be consistent. Make sure that every relevant team member is briefed and uses a consistent brand voice across all platforms.
- Write from the reader’s perspective. Don’t be selfish. To truly connect with your audience, you need to understand what they want to hear.
- Don’t be dramatic. Ditch overly fancy words and clickbait tagged with terms as people identify these traps from a hundred miles away.
3. Be a Good Listener
Like every face-to-face conversation, communication via social media is about actively listening and interacting with your audience. Listening allows you to find out what your audience is interested in and which content they relate to the most. Customer compliments and complaints give you valuable insights into what you’re doing well, and where you may have to improve. Actively participating in the discussion and responding to both positive and negative feedback, will show your audience that you deeply care about their happiness and satisfaction with your products and services.
Did you know?
- After an in-person interaction, social media is the second most preferred channel, for customers to initiate communication.
- For millennials, social media is by far the most preferred channel.
When you’re actively listening to what your audience has to say, it’ll also help you to paint a more detailed picture of who your target audience is. Which is super relevant for our next point, creating and sharing engaging content.
4. Share Engaging Content
Knowing what your audience cares about is one thing. You also have to understand how to use this information to your benefit. To increase your customer loyalty, you need to deepen your relationship with your audience. Designing engaging experiences that connect your brand with like-minded consumers is a great way to create loyal brand ambassadors.
Educate Your Audience
In order to catch the interest of your audience, you need to share content that offers true value to them. Whether your followers are still in the consideration phase or have already made a purchase, educational content always works great. You may develop entertaining how-to videos and tutorials, including usage tips and tricks your customers may find useful. Or, you could hold live Q&As on your Instagram story. Infographics, graphs and all types of visual aids have also proven to make content more memorable to users. The options are sheer endless.
Re-Share Your Best Content
Content that has worked really well and received a lot of attention and engagement, shouldn’t go to waste. Don’t be afraid to repost and reuse it on different platforms or even on the same profile, a few months later. In terms of metrics, look out for content that gave you the most ROI – shares, likes, comments, and click-throughs.Note: Don’t be afraid to check out what your competitors are doing. Researching what does and doesn’t work for other brands, can be immensely helpful as you start creating your own social media strategy.
5. Give a Sneak-Peek into Your Day to Day Operations
If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of your favourite business, you’re not alone. People love meeting their most-beloved brands eye-to-eye. They want to connect with you on a personal level. You can address this by showcasing your company culture and production process in short videos, stories or posts. Share an image of your team having lunch together, a snapshot of the office dog or a portrait of the staff member that just celebrated their 2-year work anniversary. Or film a video tour of your headquarters. Do whatever will help your audience gain a better understanding of where your products and services are coming from and who is behind it all. Just make sure it's consistent with your brand voice and image.
6. Stay Focused on Customer Service
To establish customer loyalty, you need to take the time to engage with the people that reach out to you. Great customer service has a huge impact on how people feel about your brand. People want to be acknowledged when they have a question or need your help. They want to rest assured that, if there ever was an issue with their purchase, your team would be doing everything in their power to fix it. The worst thing you can do is to ignore negative feedback or give an unhelpful response. Make sure you’re showing your audience just how much you care about any of their queries and complaints. Answer comments and direct messages in a timely manner and make sure you’re always being polite and helpful. By showing up and being accountable for your actions, you’ll win your audience’s respect. And don’t forget, a positive customer service experience can completely turn around a negative review.
7. Offer Benefits and Rewards to Loyal Customers
The customer journey doesn’t end when a purchase has been made. You need to ensure that your customers will come back and bring their friends and family along. Rewards can work wonders and are powerful tools in earning customer loyalty. Just think of your local coffee shop and their loyalty program. Nowadays, most cafes have little stamp cards or electronic reward systems that count every dose of caffeine you consume during the week. Until one glorious day, you get to reap the rewards of your loyalty. That one free coffee every other week feels like a real treat, doesn’t it? Offering these loyalty programs to your customers also shows that you’re confident in your products and services. You’re doing a great job, are transparent and actively listening to your customers. Of course, they’ll want to come back for more. Your reward system is simply the incentive that’ll turn them into loyal brand ambassadors. It works for the coffee shop, and it can work for you, too.
Ways in which you can include social media in your loyalty programs:
- Create a rewards program that’s worth sharing. Thanks to social media’s many ways to reward engagement, a well-planned, clever loyalty program almost promotes itself.
- Use social media to promote your rewards program. Don’t be shy to share how you’re spoiling return customers with discounts and other benefits.
- Social media analytics can help you improve your rewards program. Thanks to social media, you have a lot of valuable data at your fingertips. You may use it to improve your loyalty program.
The Ball is in Your Court
These are seven powerful ways in which you can utilise social media to nurture brand loyalty. Use them with intent, as part of an integrated marketing strategy, and you’ll find yourself building lasting relationships between your brand and its customers.If you have any questions in regards to social media advertisement or relationship marketing, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Get in touch with us if you’d like our help in using social media to improve your customers’ brand loyalty. We’re looking forward to meeting you.