Building a loyal customer base is one of the most effective ways of securing business success, and social media could be the catalyst you need to achieve this. With the right social media strategy, you should be able to foster a community of loyal customers who are more than happy to spread the word about your business.
Social media has been a part of everyday life for a while now. What started off as a light-hearted social experiment has transformed the business world into a digital landscape of views and likes. And if you know how to use it correctly, social media can have a decidedly positive impact on the success of your business – particularly when it comes to building a loyal customer base. And for any business, loyalty is the key.
Suffice to say, loyalty is a much more lucrative goal in business than anything else. A loyal customer is more likely to buy, more likely to forgive, and more likely to recommend you to a new customer. So how do you go about using social media to breed a loyal customer base that’s going to take you to the top of your industry?
Below, we’ll explain a few key strategies that can help you use social media effectively. Take a look, and keep an open mind…
Devise a Strategy
As with any business process, having a strategy is vital to the success of your social media endeavours. After all, flying blind rarely works out on a professional level, and social media’s humble beginnings shouldn’t convince you otherwise.
Establishing a social media strategy is about more than just deciding when you’re going to post content. It’s about finding your voice, cultivating content that fits that voice, and executing that vision genuinely and consistently.
Yes, this may require you and your colleagues to look more deeply into what your business stands for, but a little introspection can do wonders for a business on the rise.
When it comes to developing a social media strategy, it also pays to be specific with your goals. If you really want to get the most out of your social media presence, you need a strategy for improving customer service, increasing sales, upping your conversion rates, and any other metrics you deem necessary to the success of your business. After all, what’s the point of implementing a social media strategy if it’s not going to contribute to your bottom line?
Prioritize Customer Support
Social media has more to it than meets the eye. From a user perspective, you’ve got content consumption, messaging, and a wide range of other functionalities built-in for your enjoyment. For businesses, though, social media takes on another important role: customer support.
With 54% of customers opting for social media over phone or email when it comes to customer support, it’s hard to disagree that prioritizing service should be part of your social strategy. Fortunately, social media is built for businesses to implement customer support features, with chatbots and informational posts available directly on the platforms.
You can’t just offer customer support options via social media, though – you have to follow through. 60% of customers who complain on social media expect a response within one hour – otherwise, you’re looking at a permanently unhappy customer with no hope of repeat business.
Use Automation to Post Consistently
Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to social media. Algorithms and eyeballs alike don’t take kindly to brands posting sporadically, which is why posting on a regular basis is necessary if you want to break through all the noise. Admittedly, this can be hard without a dedicated social media manager, but there are some tools that can help you keep up.
Automation tools are built into platforms like Twitter and Facebook, giving you the power to schedule posts in advance to avoid the time drain of having to post in the moment. Unfortunately, posting on other apps, like Instagram, can’t be set up in advance. But there are tools which allow you to remind yourself when you want to post, which should help you stay on top of things.
As influencers, content creators, and pretty much anyone that’s ever had a modicum of success on social media can tell you, being genuine is the best way to make an impact.
For businesses, though, transparency is equally important in terms of keeping customers happy and on your side. By being honest about your company, you can really start to attract a loyal customer base that respects your business – indeed, 63% of customers say they would rather buy from brands that are honest and transparent.
But what does transparency look like for a business on social media? It looks like sharing your successes, admitting your faults, and engaging with users and other accounts. Give this a try, and you’ll start to see a swell of support from your new loyal followers.
Build a Community Rather Than a Customer Base
When the first iterations started hitting the world wide web, social media was designed to build community. It was supposed to bring people together to communicate and engage socially, without having to physically be in the same room. Granted, those humble beginnings are in the rearview mirror now, but building a community still remains one of the best ways to attract loyal customers on social media.
Building a community takes time and energy, however. Obviously, you’re going to need to know your target market, or else it’s going to be difficult to narrow down exactly what kind of community you need to build.
Additionally, soliciting customer feedback from that target market will help you get actionable information from your potential customers about how your business can succeed. Once you’ve engaged meaningfully with your customers, you’ll be on your way to a community that is excited enough about your business to start spreading the word.
Written by Conor Cawley, a Senior Writer for Tech.co