Here are five ways you can use social media to build customer loyalty:
- Improve your product or service by listening to negative sentiment or suggestions posted on all relevant social media channels. People who say negative things or post about you will mostly have something valid to say. Why not listen to them, examine their issue, and fix them as soon as possible? A responsive firm fixes things. Most customers are aware that some things take time to fix too. As long as they know something is genuinely being done many people will accept the situation until then.
- Ask people to recommend or retweet or re post something from you. People talk about "net promoter scores" as a key metric for understanding customer loyalty, but the percentage who are willing to take action to recommend or retweet should be a more reliable figure, as it’s not about stating your intentions, it’s about actions. You may say you will promote a service, but not actually do it. I suggest actions speak louder than words.
- Offer updates & special offers to people who sign up to receive posts or Tweets. By making people feel part of a community in some way you will increase engagement and loyalty. Highly engaged customers become advocates too. A high percentage of them will recommend you to others. Your Facebook page can provide special offers and your Twitter & Pinterest feed can too. You can also make these offers and updates local by getting each of your branches or divisions to take part in this campaign, so that customers are building relationships with the nearest branch.
- You can track if customers achieve their objectives using your product or service using social media. You can do this buy asking them direct questions, via surveys, and by monitoring any posts they create on the subject. This is being proactively interested in how your customers get on with your service. You may only be able to do this with a select group of customers, but the lessons learned should be applicable to all similar customers. Achieving objectives is a critical issue to remaining loyal and placing the maximum amount of business with you. If you are afraid to ask hard questions then your business will eventually have big problems.
- Communicate the benefits of your product or service, not the technical features. This is an old adage salespeople use. Sell the sizzle not the stake. It’s true for social media too. Don’t focus on how to get button A to perform service B. Tell people how service B will benefit them. Then tell them how to get it to work.
My guide to social media is available from Amazon. Enjoy!