Why do thousands (if not hundreds of thousands to even millions) of local and global companies and brands use social media and digital marketing products, tools and services?
With a billion websites operating worldwide (1,030,000,000 and counting websites on the internet today), it isn’t really a mystery why more and more enterprises wants to capitalize on all available online digital resources to edge competitors and be on top of the competition. Competitive-wise, social media and all digital-based marketing tools are being seen nowadays as drivers of businesses in increasing digital exposures, increase digital footprint and presence and a cost-effective tool to market brands, products and services.
Fundamentally, businesses, enterprises and brands are all following the bandwagon of business digitalization where more and more business are venturing to tap the vast potentials of the internet and ultimately boost their sales. Those digital businesses and e-entrepreneurs are progressively using social media and digital marketing tools, products and services to connect with the rest of the world and connect with the buying consumers and potential clients. And with social media becoming more and more ingrained into our everyday lives, using those social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and more to retain existing customers and reach out to more potential clients has now been a very crucial factor in beating the ever growing competition in today’s e-business milieu.
Crunching Social Media: Things You Need To Know Before Jumping Into the Social Bandwagon
When businesses start contemplating to use social media in their online campaign; be it ad campaign or the normal brand name building, it’s quite expected for those enterprises to get highly thrilled and energized. In the beginning paragraphs of this article we’ve started sounding like proselytizing and extolling the virtues of the “untapped” to “under tapped” vast potentials of social media and digital marketing mediums, tools and methods.
Yes, it is true, the power of social media to transform businesses and brands exists and enterprises wants the fastest way to get back their online investments but just because you’ve read the many wonders that social media and digital marketing has done for others means that you can also replicate those successes by merely copying what your competitors have done and collaterally, be a success overnight. For this reason, a lot of new mint entrepreneurs, brand owners and online marketers readily saddle their horses and do a high speed gallop without thinking a strategy thus end-up damaging their proverbial horse – in this case, their online campaigns – before even having a chance to get things in a proper motion.
We’re not party poopers and at this juncture we want to emphasize the importance of building a solid foundation to anchor your social media and digital marketing campaigns and initiatives. Definitely, a plan on how to effectively execute of your digital and social media campaign matters — a lot — yet again it is of vital import to equip yourself with the proper research to effectively strengthen your foundations and to prevent pitfalls that can and will cripple your social media and digital marketing plans and initiatives.
So, we’ve come up with some pretty basic and very useful tips that you should do and that which you can readily adapt before even firing up your laptops and hitting the keys of your keyboard to create post on your enterprise’s social media accounts.
Tip No. 1 Make Your Interactions with Customers Personal and Genuine
For the same reason that you do not want to interact mechanically with someone, your customers and potential clients also doesn’t want it that way. Remember that the way you handle your communications with someone physically also applies with online communication. Communication is communication and for that basic reason your customers and potential clients will definitely respond more positively when you treat them in such a way makes them feel that they are communicating with a fellow human being, that they are connected with a living person and that their thoughts, opinions and suggestions are highly appreciated and deeply valued.
If you want to be successful digitally and on social media, always remember to feel for your online customers and make potential clients choose you over a competitor by thinking about how to humanize the experience of communicating with on the digital world. Crucial Point: If you are thinking of your customers and potential clients in the abstract sense or just numbers on an Excel Sheet, stop. Your customers are real, breathing and thinking individuals, start communicating with them kindness and thoughtfulness. This might sound squishy and too emotional but then again you want to be successful, right? The caveat here is not to fake it because your clients are people that can feel and sense it if your just faking it. This means you have to to really show care about your clients even though you’re not physically present to talk with them.
Building loyalty of customer to your brand, product or services is also about building strong connections with them and thankfully social media has afforded companies and brands with a powerful tool that has made building and sustaining such connections easier.
Tip No. 2 Open Your Line of Communication
Communication and communicating is part art and part science. And opening your line of communication would allow you to track and interact with either current and former clients or customers. Remember the basic of communication? Communication is a two-way process – them (your customers) reaching out to you and you listening to them and vice versa.
While common method of interaction like a former or current customer sharing, liking or following you on social media platforms doesn’t automatically indicate that they have been thinking of you or your product, brand or service but keeping in touch by Retweeting, commenting, liking and dropping a few words on your clients social media accounts can help make wonders. Yes, doing this might be taxing and time-consuming but your efforts would definitely be rewarded. Another way of doing this is by getting a community manager that can help you in making sure you keep the interaction with your clients alive and on track.
Tip No. 3 Respond in a Timely Manner
An unnoticed message is a missed customer – responding in a timely manner is a fundamental principle that any business that wants to be successful should adapt and follow.
Early on we’ve mentioned that interacting digitally is synonymous with interacting with people in the normal, physical world. As just as there are social standards in the physical world, so are in the digital world. Your digital clients look forward to quick answers to their queries. Critical Point: Never leave questions and concerns from customers hanging and unanswered. What is ideal is that you respond within a few hours after the query or comment has been posted, especially if that particularly query or comment has been made during your business hours. In cases wherein you cannot give a detailed reply, you should at least acknowledge your customer’s message and advice your customer of a time frame wherein you can a much detailed reply.
You should also learn about the different ways of interacting using different social media platforms. Different social media platforms has different ways people interact and communicate with. An example would be a personal message (PM) sent to your Facebook page or comment on your post by your customer. On Twitter a customer might interact with you by tagging your Twitter username or they also send you a direct message (DM).
Tip No. 4 Request Your Customers for Feedback
You don’t need to be ashamed about asking your customers and clients for feedback or review. Your customers are people with their own lives and they tend to be busy that they oftentimes forget to leave a feedback or write a short (or long) review of your brand, product or service even if they were satisfied with you. A lot of times they just need a soft nudge to remind them of going back and writing a review or feedback or even dropping few lines to your company.
Come to terms with all types of feedback. While it’s gratifying and satisfying when customers and clients let you know how upbeat and happy they are with the experiences they’ve had, it’s also very important for you, as a business owner, to know negative experiences your customers have encountered so that you would know where you need to improve and what to change or add to better serve your customers.
Tip No. 5 Reply to Reviews and Feedbacks
So now you’ve solicited your customers and clients for reviews and feedbacks, what now? Don’t just sit there and let those reviews and feedbacks pile up doing nothing – always find ways to reply with those reviews and feedbacks. Negative or positive, just the same, answer them individually. On negative reviews and feedbacks respond respectfully and supportively while thanking for bringing the matter to your attention. And for positive mentions, thank your customers and tell them what you feel (like telling them that it inspire you to work harder in bringing the best possible for them).
Critical Point: People seek out and read reviews and feedbacks. For astute customers, they (your clients and potential customers) oftentimes look for reviews and feedbacks regarding your products and services. Those reviews and feedbacks that a brand gets on social media are social signals that people tend to listen to and a strong influence in their decision making like whether or not they’ll buy and make use of a product or get the services of a given company.
To effectively utilize and harness the power of social media for your brand, product or service you must understand that you and your past, present and future customers are essential partners. And being partners for digital success means building strong relationships with your customers and communicating with them just as you do in the physical world. Building that strong relationship digitally would mean liking their posts and encouraging them with simple messages.
There’s no voodoo spell to retain your customers using social media, because an excellent business is a business excellent in communicating and giving the best user experience for their clients and customers, be it on social media sites like Facebook or in a brick-and-mortar store. The fundamental key is working from beginning to end with integrity and positivity in making your customer the center of your brand, product or services. It’s all about transforming your brand, product or service to be consumer-centric. Done right and your customers feel appreciated and valued, they’ll come back to you and drive more clients and new business opportunities your way.