By Megan McMahon For any brand, the most important customer is the current one- the one that is loyal to the brand and will keep coming back for more. But sometimes, it’s hard to keep loyal customers. Fortunately for the brands of the world, social media can bridge the gap between keeping a customer and losing a customer. Here are some basic principles for things that a brand can do with social media in order to retain customers:
1) Stay top of mind with the Facebook News Feed As we all know by now, the Facebook News Feed is controlled by an algorithm where the way that things appear in a user’s feed is based on: 1) the timeliness of a post, 2) how often the user engages with where the post is coming from, 3) how engaging the post is. As a brand, when you can do all of these three things, you’ll stay at the top of the News Feed where all fans can see you. When a brand is at the top of the News Feed, they’re essentially at the top of mind of those who LIKE the page. When it comes time for a consumer to make a purchase decision, and a brand is at the top of mind, that brand will be that much more likely to gain that consumer’s business.
2) Make consumers WANT to come back Staying top of mind is important, but how can a brand make sure that they’re not top of mind for negative reasons? Easy: provide value. Make sure that every post and tweet is something that a consumer would see as valuable. Not as something too sales-y or corny. Brands should stand out but be classy about it. When a brand can provide value, the consumer will want to go back to the Facebook posts or tweets and ultimately, they’ll want to keep going back to purchase from said brand.
3) Customer Service FTW Nothing can create a raving fan quite like amazing customer service can. The way a brand provides customer service through social media can make or break them. At the same time, customer service via social can create a customer for life or lose a valuable customer in an instant. If a brand can provide good service on their social channels, the consumer knows that they will always have somewhere to turn for immediate access to help thus, retaining a customer.
4) Create relationships It’s hard to break up with a brand (or anything / anyone for that matter) when there’s a deep connection that’s been made. One of my favorite things about social media is the ease in which a brand can create a relationship with a consumer. Social media is a relationship builder at our fingertips and can be done in just a few words via Facebook comment or tweet. By creating relationships with consumers, a brand essentially creates a customer that will stick around for a while.
5) LISTEN & RESPOND Most important of all, when it comes to retaining customers with social media all a brand really has to do is LISTEN. Give the people what they want. Brands are being talked about everywhere whether they like it or not. Listening to what’s being said on a large scale and acting upon it is an incredible way for a brand to let people know that their voice is being heard. On an individual consumer basis, brands should listen to what their customer has to say and respond with a human touch, not as a robot would. Just because there’s no face to face interaction doesn’t mean a brand can get away with canned responses. Consumers want to be listened to and responded to on social media as humans. Create an everlasting customer simply by listening.
Consumers – Have you had a brand experience via social media that made you a customer for life? Brands – how do you strive to retain customers with social media? Let me know in the comments!