Social media through social media has changed the world of business, not only is it far cheaper to connect with potential customers, it's also much easier to talk directly to them. So building customer loyalty online can have a big impact on the number of sales you make each month.
Before social media was around, marketers only had the likes of TV, press, radio, bill boards and direct mail to use. These are still in use today but the difference between that form of advertising and social media in marketing is that these methods only provide one way communication. They only broadcast a message out to their audience.
Social media in marketing, on the other hand, if done properly can create a two way communication between you and your customers or your 'followers'. You can actually talk directly to them, you can ask them their opinion and get them interacting with the future of your business. The more you involve them, the more they will react and the more they feel a part of what you are doing the more loyal they will become.
Getting 'Likes, Followers & Connections' is just part of what you need to do to begin the process of developing online customer loyalty, but the most important thing is to build an audience of fans who care about you and who want to become brand advocates for your business.
Tell Your Story
Customers want to know you and your brand more today than ever before. They want to feel connected to a business before they become a customer. Gary Vaynerchuk states in his ‘Jab Jab Jab Right Hook’ book that 'great marketing is about telling your story in such a way that it compels people to buy what you are selling.'
Just posting content stating what you are selling is not enough, they need more. Successful marketing through social media should include engaging yet informational content, while allowing customers to share their own experiences, thoughts and ideas. Content that makes your 'followers' want to share it with their 'followers' is the best type of content to provide. You can take a look at our top tips for writing exciting content here.
Build a Community
Being sociable and giving your fans what they want will help you build a loyal community, so get good at giving. Give, give and give more then ask for something in return. Don't feel you have to create all the engaging content yourself. Sharing knowledgeable and relevant information from industry influencers while asking for your 'follower's' opinions will have them engaging with you and feeling respected and appreciated.
Once your 'followers' are engaging with your brand on social media, build customer loyalty by making them feel even more valued before they’ve purchased from you. If they take the time to add a 'Comment' to your page then make sure you ‘Reply’ to it and use their first name in that reply - make it feel personal to them. Make them feel listened to and cared about. Good customer service pre sale and post sale will go a long way. Not all comments you get online will be positive, and you'll need to learn how to handle negative comments too. We have a guide for managing negative Facebook comments here.
Do not just engage with your 'followers' on social media, connect with them on other pages and in groups, not to sell but just to engage with them – all of this will help to boost customer loyalty. Invite them to join your mailing list and send out chatty and timely newsletters, including a little sneak peek of what you have to sell, just avoid sounding too salesy. Remember nobody comes to social media to buy, they come to be social. Email marketing is an excellent way to build up trust with your 'followers' and can add much value to your social media campaign when done correctly.
Most importantly, never forget to be nice! Even if you are feeling down or a little stressed, if this is reflected in your interactions with your 'followers', you could risk losing some of that hard earned loyalty. So, follow these tips for marketing through social media and you’ll be able to build customer loyalty.