Whilst social media can be a powerful tool for generating sales leads it can be even more valuable when it comes to building customer loyalty.
Focusing your social media strategy solely on marketing will lead to a stagnant and ultimately unsuccessful campaign. It is possible to do much more with social media than just pushing sales. In fact, your audience will be grateful for it!
1. Conversations - Listen as well as talk
One main difference between traditional forms of marketing and social media marketing is that social is a two-way conversation. No longer is it just about brands telling a passive audience how great their product is, now the audience can answer back. This new, active audience can make or break your social campaign. You just need to know what you're doing!
One thing to bear in mind is that in the world of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Live Chat your customers will expect an open line of communication with your company. Just like they have with their friends and family.
The majority of brands on social media will ignore upwards of 75% of customer messages. In your audience's eyes, this is bordering on negligence. As a company, you have to willingly participate on social media to engage with users. By building a community with open conversations, cracking jokes and tackling issues you will begin to grow your loyal customer base.
You'll need to be responding quickly as well. A recent study found that 42% of respondents expect a response within an hour and 32% of respondents expect a response within 30 minutes.
This might seem like an unobtainable timeframe, but by having an employee or agency dedicated to social media conversations you'll see returning, loyal customers in no time!
2. Customer service
Hand in hand with social media's two way"chat" between you and your customers, is the element of customer service. Some of this will be dealing with negative feedback or customer complaints. We go into this in more detail in our previous blog - HOW TO DEAL WITH THOSE NEGATIVES ON SOCIAL MEDIA
However, in addition to rectifying negative comments, you must create a positive experience for your customers. This will encourage them to come back to your brand. The power of social media is that these positive interactions will leave a long-lasting affect on your audience.
When you receive mentions, check-ins or comments, by taking the time to retweet, favourite, like or thank your brand loyalists, you create a lasting bond. They may even mention this to their friends - thereby increasing your audience base.
3. Show your personality
If you want to increase loyalty to your brand, you will have to think outside the box. Individuality and originality will keep your customers coming back. So, you'll have to look for creative ways to engage with your target audience.
You have to prove to readers that you're an authority figure on the service you provide but, at the same time, showcasing that you're a company made up of real human beings. A good way to get this balance can be through creative storytelling on social media.
Keep Instagram followers engaged with suspenseful content that tells a story. Your brand can also use social media to post enthralling content that promotes your product while keeping consumers' attention.
Get your employees involved! Take photos inhouse, put out updates if you re-paint your office, live stream if it's someone's birthday, or give out #TopTips from members of staff on easily shareable branded graphics. These might seem silly, but they're all important ingredients to make your brand more human, more approachable and therefore keep your customers coming back to your service.
4. User generated content - Give back to brand advocate
This one tied in with the earlier idea of creating long-lasting experiences for your audience. We know that, for consumers, brand loyalty goes hand in hand with the perceived value they get from their relationship with your company. We also know that loyal customers spend more on purchases and save companies significant acquisition costs. So you need to be focussing energy on brand advocates.
here are lots of ways to identify your brand advocates. You can use social listening tools to find your brand VIPs, or they might make themselves known by tagging or commenting on your posts.
Don't have any existing social media brand advocates? Well, make some! Don't ask, don't get. Offer an incentive for users to interact with your brand. For example, offer inclusion in a social VIP club that rewards consumers for their participation. You could run a campaign that picks a weekly winner of the "best tagged photo of the week" where that user wins a sample of your product or a future discount.
5. Offers and rewards
Create fun competitions and giveaways on your social media profiles. The joy of social is that these competitions can be full of your brand's personality. If you want to do something a bit silly and ambitious, why not give it a go?
This is a giveaway international gym brand Snap Fitness 24/7 ran for their social media followers:
The key elements of the perfect giveaway and reward scheme is a clear call to action which doesn't involve a huge amount of effort from your audience. Decide how you will reward people for their loyalty. Create conversion activities that are easy to participate in. With most social activity occurring on mobile, it's critical that any conversion activity you promote is simple to click through and complete, regardless of your consumers' device. Also, people like to remain in their current context, so the more your conversion activities take place in the social environment, the more successful you'll be.
Remember - If this seems like a daunting and time-consuming task, you can always hire us to do it for you. Get in touch today and see what Bigg can do to improve your social media and boost your customer loyalty.