Thursday, 26 September 2013

How To: Use Social Media To Increase Customer Loyalty

Social media offers a great way to not only attract a bigger audience, but also to solidify your current
relationships and increase your customer loyalty. A truly loyal customer has lots of benefits, such as:
  • They will choose your products or services over the competitions’
  • They have the potential to become your brand advocates, both in real life and online
  • They can help you spread your messages by sharing your updates with their own followers on social media
Social media can be easily used to increase customer loyalty – here are a few tips to help:

1. Engage with your audience

It’s very important on social media to engage with your followers and other users on a daily basis.  Many businesses fail to do this, and rather only post their own updates and hope for the best. But in order to increase customer loyalty, as well as follower numbers, and shares, likes, retweets etc. you have to engage yourself in conversations with other users. Engaging on social media usually means:
  • Liking updates
  • Commenting on updates
  •  Sharing and retweeting
  •  Asking and answering questions
  •  Participating in conversations with other social media users

By engaging with your audience constantly, you are showing that you are interested in what they have to say, and not just in advertising your own products and services. This will help you in the long run by helping you gain new customers and increase your customer loyalty.

2. Always manage customer service on social media when needed

If your business has a social networking profile, it will be almost impossible to avoid the occasional questions, comments and complaints about your business or products and services. Make sure to respond to all these questions and comments, as soon as possible. Ideally, you shouldn’t let more than half an hour – an hour pass before you answer a question. On Twitter you should strive to reply within minutes, as a tweet’s lifespan is very short. It’s also important to be very polite when replying to these comments, even if they are quite rude.
By answering promptly and being helpful, it will help increase your customer loyalty – basically, it shows that you are listening to your customers and you are always ready to help them have the best experience when it comes to your products or services. 

3. Offer exclusive deals and competitions for your social media fans and followers

This proven marketing technique works just as well with social media. By organizing competitions and exclusive deals on your social media profiles, you will not only increase your engagement and follower numbers, but also your customer loyalty. You can either create a competition or a printable coupon, for example, that your customers can use in your stores.

4. Use social media to offer value

In order to be successful on social media, it’s important to make sure you aren’t always “selling”. A great way of keeping your audience interested and engaged, as well as of increasing loyalty, is to offer them lots of value with your tweets and posts. If you have a blog, then share your best posts on your social profiles. You can also provide other “goodies”, such as whitepapers or checklists, or anything else that you can think of that will provide value to your audience. Social media is very clustered, and one of the best ways to make sure you stand out is by offering lots of value.

5. Reward your audience

Every time someone takes to social media to speak highly of your product or business, be sure to thank them properly. People love to be heard and acknowledged, and this is a simple and effective way to do it. You can use a tool like Social Mention to track each time your brand name is mentioned across social platforms, so you never miss an opportunity.

Overall, social media is a great tool for increasing customer loyalty. Keep in mind however that it can take a long time to build up your presence, but it’s definitely worth all the effort. 

Are you using social media to increase your customer loyalty? Let us know in your comments!