Many consumers today don’t even leave their homes to make everyday purchases. That’s made it even more challenging for businesses to build customer relationships.
You no longer get that face-to-face interaction that can be so important in developing trust and brand loyalty.
So, where do businesses turn now to build customer relationships?
Well, most everyone is hanging out on social media. And not only for the pet videos.
Customers are connected and empowered like never before because of social media and its self-serving, feel-good experience. Businesses must find a way to connect with those customers in their virtual spaces.
But don’t fret, we’re here to help with five ways your business can use social media to build customer relationships:
- Personalize conversations by showing your human side
People want to know you care. Empathy can go a long way in building customer relationships.
When responding to comments on social media, make sure you try to connect with each person. Use their first name and personalize your response so they don’t feel like you’re just entertaining them.
You want to build a community for your customers, a place they feel connected, safe and informed. You want a place for people to gather to interact and discuss your brand and industry. Create an atmosphere that can enhance social media marketing opportunities.
Establish yourself as an authority in your industry and create a destination that customers can turn to when they have questions about your products or services.
The more you interact with customers they better they’ll know you. And don’t be afraid to even share something personal with your customers, such as you’re struggling after your dog died or worried about a sick family member. Those kinds of personal connections are important for customers and help to build trust.
- Always respond quickly to customers
Customers want immediate answers and they often turn to social media first to find them. No longer are customers willing to wait out those “Please hold, your call is important to us …” automated voices that leave you on hold for several minutes that ultimately get nothing accomplished.
You can use social media to build customer relationships by quickly responding to questions and concerns via Facebook posts or tweets. When people are upset or have an urgent need, they want a response right away.
How quickly? A Lithium Technologies study found that 53% of customers who ask a brand a question on Twitter expect a response within 60 minutes regardless of when they tweeted.
You don’t have to linger over the dancing ellipses as “someone is typing a comment” on Facebook, but you should be responding swiftly. Other studies say that you should respond within 30 minutes if possible.
You want to be a brand that customers can rely on when there’s an issue. Quick response is a benefit that customers are willing to pay for as well.
What happens if you don’t respond in a timely manner? Well, an upset customer may leave your brand and never return.
Also, be sure to respond to both positive and negative comments. Both allow you opportunities to build trust.
- Make it easy for customers to share their story
People love to talk about themselves. It’s much of what Facebook is all about, whether it’s bragging on your kids or posting those look-at-me workout pictures.
Side note: Those workout pictures aren’t motivating us to get off our couch. Instead, they’re encouraging us to post pictures of the next time we’re hitting a pizza buffet. How is that for some crunches, Mr. Workout Guy!
But whether someone is bragging on his gym time or pizza intake, he wants to share his story. This allows you to tap into the personal lives of your customers.
Encourage your customers to share their stories on your page, paving a way for them to entice further engagement and more audience reach for your brand.
Leverage the look-at-me society trend and make it work for your business. These life moments can enhance customer relationships and strengthen brand awareness and loyalty.
Also, it could create an opportunity for you to share user-generated content if what’s posted relates to your brand, providing your business with an ideal social media marketing opportunity.
You can also brag a little, publishing a post that names your most loyal customers or most engaged social media customers. That gives those customers the opportunity to brag on their pages. And it builds customer relationships.
- Show customer appreciation through giveaways and contests
Another way you can use social media to build customer relationships is by rewarding them with giveaways, promotions, coupons and contests.
Giveaways and contests are great social media marketing opportunities that can generate a lot of buzz, placing your brand at the top of the daily trending lists and encouraging more visitors to seek out your website.
One popular way to spread your brand’s story on social media is to ask your followers to share your message with three friends to enter a contest.
Also, stronger engagement rates on posts help strengthen your Facebook algorithm. You can help engagement by publishing posts that ask questions and promote interactions between customers.
Facebook Live has become a more popular way to interact with customers as well, creating more face-to-face possibilities through video. Many companies have hosted giveaways via Facebook Live segments. You can also host live chats at designated times, setting aside an hour or so to answer any questions or concerns customers might have about your products or services. That shows you care and want to help.
- Respond to all of your online reviews
Online reviews are becoming more and more vital for businesses. The quality and quantity of online reviews can increase your local SEO rankings and thus drive more traffic to your site to increase revenue.
Online reviews also present your business with another opportunity to use social media to build customer relationships. Many businesses use reputation management services to generate more online reviews, such as Rize Reviews.
Facebook reviews have become more important for businesses. And multiple 5-star Google reviews can do wonders for your brand and income.
Also, know this: A business that allows customer reviews on social media is viewed as more transparent and trustworthy. That’s because it empowers customers to share their thoughts – whether positive or negative – about your products or services. They have an outlet to express their opinion, and that shows them you care about their feedback. You should always reply to both positive and negative reviews as promptly as possible.
A satisfied customer can be a very strong advocate for a company with a positive online review. Promote your quality reviews on all of your social media channels. That’s a great way to enhance your social media marketing and it’s organic.
Consider this: How many times have you made a purchase or a buying decision because a friend or family member recommended the product or restaurant online through a social media page? Peer pressure is a strong ally for businesses.
Additionally, you can use polls to ask for further customer feedback. Polls can be very informative for businesses to use for possible improvements and also to leverage as user-generated content. You can take those poll results and work it into a post that highlights positive feedback or answers a popular question.
There are many other ways your business can use social media to build customer relationships, but hopefully the previous five ways have given you some ideas to explore.
For more information about hiring the right social media and digital marketing marketing agency, contact Thrive Internet Marketing Agency at 866-434-4748 or online.