Social Media & Customer Loyalty
How To Use Social Media To Create Loyal Customers
Customer loyalty can be a great way to measure your businesses’ success. These loyal customers can increase your profits over time. However, loyal customers don’t just happen. You must use the tools at your disposal to create them and according to Forbes®, 71 percent of customers leave a business after a bad customer experience. 1 A great tool is social media. Social media allows for communication with your customers that wasn’t there a few decades ago, but just how do you make sure you are using it correctly to create loyal customers for your business?
Use social media to connect with those customers you already have. By ensuring that you are making your existing customers happy, you increase the likelihood of repeat business and that those customers will refer you to their friends and family.
Make sure to post your social media accounts on all of your collateral. You will also want to make sure it is in your stores, on your website and in any emails you send. Encourage people to like and follow you and let them know that they can receive special deals that will only be offered through your social media sites.
Create a mixture of content on all your social media sites. Your consumers just don’t want to hear about your new and existing products. They want industry trends, educational articles and posts showing the company culture. Focus on providing value and information. Become a valued informational resource. If people trust and rely on you to provide them with high quality information and commentary, your relationship will begin to deepen. People are looking for information on what interests them and how to solve their problems. Use social media to share these pieces of information. Encourage conversations and discussions on your profiles. This provides an opportunity to talk to your customers and to show them that you care. This is an extremely important part of customer loyalty. Make sure to engage with trending topics. This will show your customers that you care about what they care about. Also, encourage people to review your products on your accounts. You can do surveys to find out what your customers like or dislike and offer them a discount or free product for participating.
Offer deals and contests. This can be an in-store coupon or a promo code, and will allow you to give your loyal customers a reward. You will want to announce these contests on your website as well as by sending out an email blast* and posting it to all your social media accounts. For customers who have purchased a product, treat them to a discount on their next purchase. This shows your gratitude and lets them know that they are a valued customer. In order to claim their prize they must like or follow you first if they haven't already done so.
Another great way to use social media to create loyal customers is to sign up for a Foursquare® account. This social media platform allows for people to check in when they arrive at your business and can see if their friends have been there (or are there). It’s also a geo-specific recommendation engine. Encourage your customers to both check in and leave comments so their friends can also give your place a try.
Monitor your social media platforms. In today’s fast-paced world, customers expect things instantly and they take to social media to voice their satisfaction or disapproval. Make sure you are retaining your customers by regularly monitoring your social media platforms and responding in a timely manner to questions and concerns. Don’t just ignore it and hope it will go away or delete it when you see it. By responding to your customers comments on social media, this will position you as a brand that cares about its customer’s satisfaction thus helping you to create brand and customer loyalty.
Customers are the heart of your business. You want to make sure that you make and keep them happy so they continue to walk in your door. Social media can be a great tool to accomplish this very important goal.
- “Nine Ways to Build Customer Loyalty” by Marc Compeau. Forbes, Web: http://www.forbes.com/sites/marccompeau/2011/10/03/nine-ways-to-build-customer-loyalty/, October 3, 2011.
*The foregoing is provided for information purposes only and without analysis of applicable state or federal laws, rules, or regulations that may apply to your use of electronic communications or social media with your customers. Please consult with your own legal or other advisors for advice on compliance with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
Foursquare is a registered trademark of Foursquare Labs Inc., an unaffiliated third party that does not endorse or sponsor Vantiv Integrated Payments, LLC.
Forbes is a registered trademark of Forbes Inc., an unaffiliated third party that does not endorse or sponsor Vantiv Integrated Payments, LLC.
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