Businesses today that aren’t using social media to advertise are missing out on important tools that would otherwise help you improve sales and customer loyalty. Unfortunately, many small businesses are missing the boat when it comes to using social media resources like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat to help them build a loyal customer base and to reach out to new audiences.
What’s the Big Deal about Social Media?
The problem is that many business owners don’t understand how important social media can be when used effectively to build relationships with their existing customers so that they will return again and again as future customers.
According to Social Media Examiner, it is easier for businesses to keep existing customers than it is to acquire new customers. In fact, 80 percent of your company’s revenue in the future will come from only 20 percent of the customers you already have. But here is where things get really interesting. Improving your customer retention rate by only five percent can lead to a 75 percent increase in profit.
That’s great news for your business, but only if you can master the art of social media marketing for your business. This begins with building strong relationships with your customers. On social media, this means that you need to constantly offer new reasons for your customers to continue following your business. Some of the things you can do include:
- Offering sneak peeks at future products.
- Providing discount or coupon codes to followers.
- Creating video instructions with new and exciting uses for existing products.
- Offer behind-the-scenes access to upcoming releases or how things operate within your business.
- Engaging your customers by asking for their opinions and feedback through polls and surveys.
- Providing stellar customer service and listening to feedback your customers offer.
Remember that the key here is relationship building. It cannot be a one-way relationship with you reaping all the rewards. Your customers have to get something out of the relationship too. At least, they do if you want them to remain loyal customers and come back for more of the goods and services you have to offer.
Crafting a Careful Response to Get the Best Effect from Social Media
One of the big reasons social media can be such a boon to businesses is that it provides an avenue by which your customers, or potential customers, can see how well you deal with praise and accolades as well as how you respond to criticisms and concerns. In fact, it’s very important to your audience that you listen and respond to the good and the bad. It helps your customers feel like they’ve built a stronger connection to your business and it helps you develop a loyal following – especially if you offer rewards to the people who follow your business in the way of timely responses, product discounts, and special offers just for them. The more you reward your loyal followers, the more loyal they become. It’s a gift that keeps giving back to your business.
What this means is that you must be careful in how you respond to the good and the bad comments on social media about your business, but respond you must – carefully. The American Marketing Association recommends a “5 P Approach” to social care:
- Participate – listen attentively to customer issues and offer solutions via social media.
- Platform – learn how to integrate not only resolutions and engagement through your social media platforms, but integrating the ordering process so that customers can get to your online store directly from various social media platforms with tools like Smart POS or Clover Station.
- Prioritization – know when to take decisive action directly and when to escalate problems for more attention and care.
- Problem Resolution – have the right team in place to effectively resolve problems that arise through their exceptional problem resolution and social media skills.
- Process – create a formula or process that you turn to every time when responding to issues and resolving problems via social media.
Obviously, you will have to come up with an approach that works and is most effective for your own business. Fortunately, tools like Clover Mini and Clover Mobile make it easier than ever to integrate a social media presence into your business routine without breaking the bank or dividing your focus. The key is to have a plan of action in place and to follow that plan long enough to see what works for you, as far as advertising and marketing via social media goes, and then making changes accordingly. Taking your time and formulating a plan for every part of the process can help you build a more effective social media marketing strategy that will generate long-lasting results for your business.