Engage in more meaningful conversations
The back and forth between a business and customer on social media can sometimes feel like the old school method of passing notes in a classroom. Do you like our new spring clothing line? Check yes or no. If you like it, please share it with Susie in the next row. Of course, it’s important to get likes and shares on social media, but savvy business owners might want to seek something more than a classroom crush.
To build a lasting relationship with a customer you need to engage in more meaningful conversations. In dating terms, you need to put a ring on it. Take the time to engage with your audience on social media. Pay attention to what they need, when they need it, and why.
Here are a few tips to move your social media engagement to the next level:
Create polls to obtain information from customers
Rank their favorite product.
Rank the various ways they use the product.
Vote for the time of day/year they use the product most.
Rank why they use the product – give three options and an open comment box.
Run contests to learn how customers interact with your product
and provide a discount or valuable item to the winner.
Most creative or best photo/video of customers using the product.
The best success story of how a service helped them.
Most loyal or longest-standing customer.
Research your ambassadors
All businesses will have loyal customers who consistently like, share, and comment on your platforms. So, thank them for sharing, give them a head’s up on sales and offer advice on making the most of the product. Then, take a few minutes to look at their personal pages to get more of a feel for their lifestyle, needs, and friends.
If someone sends a message or posts a comment, respond as fast as possible. Because many customers view social media the same as an in-person encounter, treat social interactions in the same way.
Pose open-ended questions about your product or service on social accounts. What do you like best about our business? What do we not offer that you would use?
These tips will have you well on your way to walking down the social aisle with customers. Still, you should be ready for those members of the congregation who just can’t seem to hold their peace. View negative comments as opportunities rather than irritants to be ignored. Everyone sees the negative comments and a lot may ride on how and if you choose to react.
Steps to keep the peace:
1. Thank them for the comment, acknowledge the issue, and apologize.
2. Ask what you can do to make it right.
3. Offer what you can to make it right, plus a little extra.
4. If you cannot make it right, tell them how you will work to make it better in the future.
However, there may be cases when a courteous approach isn’t effective. For those situations, a general statement acknowledging the issue and an offer to resolve it offline with an email or phone call may be a good compromise.
Finally, like any relationship, staying engaged takes time and effort and a willingness to learn from the good and bad comments.