Do you know who your potential ‘brand activists’ are? That’s only half the battle won. Understand where and how to connect with your customers and you’ll successfully win them over.
As the chief marketing officer (CMO) of your business, you have to keep this top of mind: You don’t drive company and brand messaging – your customers do. “Social media is one of the biggest opportunities that companies across industries have to connect directly to consumers,” says Nielsen’s Sean Casey.
Social media’s potential for customer interaction and customer retention is important to take note of as your brand is now being discussed and dissected on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
In response to your customers’ penchant for social media, your role as CMO needs to evolve to build deep intimacy with customers. Here’s how to connect with consumers to find out who is really engaging with your brand on social media.
Create a platform for reviews of your products and service
An FAQ section on your website is good, but a community or online forum is even better. Why? You’re able to directly engage with your customers by not just answering their questions, but having industry-specific discussions.
“Popular social networks, such as Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, and Google+ Communities, are now giving you the ability to create communities,” notes entrepreneur, investor and online marketing guru John Rampton.
Your customers are probably already on these social media channels, so using these platforms is easier for both them and your efforts to find out who you’re talking to and where they choose to communicate with you.
Get to know your customers better
The importance of building strong emotional connections with your customers should not be undervalued. If your consumers feel they’re talking to an actual person, and not a faceless corporation, they’re more likely to trust you.
Rampton suggests the following to engage your customers while showing your human side:
- Introduce yourself to new followers or forum members with a brief personalised message.
- Use team member images and author bios on your social media, forums and blogs.
- Select a brand ambassador to put a face to your product and the company behind it.
“Customers are more informed and have more choice than ever before, so if their expectations aren’t met, they’ll move on quickly,” says Bluewolf’s CMO Corinne Sklar.
Make it easy for them to show their support
When customers are engaged, you are their default buying choice, says Sklar. “They reward consistently strong service by spending more and becoming influential brand advocates on social channels.”
Listen to your customers. Over 70% of customers will spend more with a company because of a history of good service. Heavy social media users are reported to value supporting their favourite companies or brands, so provide content that’s easy to find and simple to share on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.
In the era of the always-on customer, social media is a primary channel for customer engagement. If you’re not engaging with them where they are, they may lose interest and move onto someone who will.