Many times when businesses talk social media, they’re only talking about social media marketing. By neglecting the other components of social media and focusing only on marketing, businesses aren’t realizing the full potential social media has to offer their business in terms of building long-term relationships with their customers. In this blog, I want to talk about 8 social media hacks to help your business increase customer retention and loyalty.
Be Easy To Find
Having a consistent username across all social platforms makes it easier for your customers to quickly find your business when and where they need you. Tools like Namech_k let you easily check your username availability across hundreds of online networks.
Create of List of Top Brand Ambassadors
Just as important as engaging with industry influencers is making a list of your top brand ambassadors. Engage with them daily about their every day lives, interests and hobbies. I’ve developed some of my most loyal customers as a result of knowing their favorite sports teams, music, food, and tv shows and proactively tweeting them about these things.
Make Use of Alerts and Listening Tools
Google Alerts, Hootsuite, and Topsy are all great examples of social media listening tools which provide immediate notifications to brand mentions and key phrases. By monitoring phrases beyond just your brand name, for example monitoring a key phrase within 5 miles of your business, you can ensure you’re always engaging in the right conversations.
Schedule (Some of) Your Posts
A fully automated social media strategy is not a social media strategy. But, scheduling some of your posts is an effective way to stay productive while consistently posting to your social networks. Consider a service like Buffer which adds an extension to your browser and automatically schedules any content you want to share at predetermined times.
Develop Platform Specific Content
With the growth of all-in-one social media posting platforms like Hootsuite, we’ve seen an increase in businesses posting the exact same content across all platforms at the same time. The psychology of a user on Twitter and the content they are hoping to discover is far different than what they expect on Facebook. Give customers a reason to follow all of your networks by providing platform exclusive content and promotions. The more places you can reach them, the more likely they are to build a long-term relationship with your business.
Engage In Real Time
More and more customers are turning to social media for customer service related questions as it’s a more immediate and public channel than calling an 800 number. Having a designated team that’s equally attentive to customer praise and frustration in a social context is key to retaining customers and addressing their needs as they happen. Response time can be the difference between a ranting customer and raving one.
Pay Attention to Your Tone
Todays consumers are in-tune to the social nuances of how businesses communicate online. Pay attention to how your target audience engages on each specific platform and adopt a tone that relates to your audience while still reflecting your overall brand positioning.
Create a List of Influencers
Make a list of the top 10 or 20 people in your industry that you want to engage with on social media – people who are strangers to you and your business. Spend at least 15 minutes per day engaging with some of this list in a non-spammy way. Contribute to the discussion they’re having and eventually they’ll start to recognize you and your business lending more social proof to your service or product.
Shifting The Perspective on Social Media
Next time your boss, co-worker, or client brings up their social media marketing strategy force them to think outside of the box. Social media marketing needs to expand beyond “marketing” and take into consideration the customer experience at all of the points where consumers are using these social platforms to experience the product, create and share their stories about that experience with others. Having a social media strategy that goes beyond just marketing helps businesses break the chains of needing high cost paid media placements by building long-term, organic relationships within their target audience.
Dallas McLaughlin is a Digital Marketing Specialist at The James Agency, a full-service advertising agency in Phoenix, Arizona. He blogs frequently at DallasMcLaughlin.com about Search Engine Optimization, Pay-Per-Click, and Social Media Marketing trends. If you have any questions, you can tweet him directly at @BossDJay.