You already know that superlative customer experience drives loyalty. For your company, it’s important to determine the best ways to provide that experience, and how to do it across social media platforms. Getting all the social media platforms working together requires a content strategy developed around your particular goals. Whether ultimate objective is to increase visibility, grow your list, or generate conversions, building loyalty is essential to maintaining success.
Use the information you already have about your customers. For all the forms of social media (especially Facebook, Twitter, & LinkedIn), data can give you the information you need to create the ideal customer experience. By mining data you can determine the top characteristics of existing customers and seek new customers by selecting those traits as search criteria. This makes the process of acquiring new customers extremely efficient.
Data in hand, you can carry out an overarching strategy supported by the following five best ways to boost customer loyalty. For most of these practices, you can implement across platforms in virtually the same way: LinkedIn and Facebook company pages enable you to create your own social environment where you control the content. With Twitter, message life is much more fleeting, so you would need to repeat your message to ensure visibility.
- Engagement: Make sure that you have a consistent presence on social media. Respond to commenters, ask them questions, and share their content. To be successful in social media you must be reliable in terms of frequency of posting, quality of content shared, and responding to commenters in a timely manner. On Facebook, invite customers to Events, and seek out conversation by posting material that invites discussion. On Twitter, join in existing conversations by utilizing the search features to locate relevant topics. Don’t forget to thank everyone who comments and shares.
- Rewards: Host contests and give prizes to bolster engagement, build brand loyalty, and trust. Use all available tools to gamify your customers’ experience, and don’t forget to build in a feature that prompts customers to tweet or post each time they make a purchase or use your product. Creating a competition for the most social media shares, with a reward or prize at the end of a set time period, will spur purchasing and drive engagement. Design a loyalty rewards program granting repeat or long-term customers special deals, discounts, and if it makes sense, grandfather them into prior offers.
- Featuring customers: On your company’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages, periodically showcase a star customer, and describe their success using your product. Ask customers to post their questions so that you can respond with helpful information, but also so that other customers can post answers as well, creating a community centered around your product or service. Actively solicit glowing testimonials and display them on your website, Facebook page and LinkedIn profile. Ask for feedback on all platforms by asking your audience to share their experiences, thoughts, and information via structured polls and questionnaires as well as simpler direct questions.
- Promote exclusive access: Reward your customers for their loyalty by offering them special deals, access to information, and free goodies available only on social media platforms.
- Measuring/tracking data: On all social media platforms, it’s critical to track response so that you know what works best. You can benchmark your performance and compare it with that of competitors, as well as comparing variations in content performance. LinkedIn is an ideal place to post your successes to fans and competitors alike.
Brian Solis notes in his blog that young consumers overwhelmingly reach out on social media to express disappointment about products but also go to social media to find solutions. The onus is on the company to connect with those consumers in a way that is meaningful to them. When you have a loyal community thriving on social media, you will then be able to market to them directly. The more intimately you know who they are, their interests, their needs, and especially what they lack, the more effectively you can communicate with them. That communication can become so precisely tailored that you’ll be able to predict when and how they’ll best respond to you.