In today's social media-laden world, significant emphasis is often placed on social media buzz.While it is important to develop a presence on social media platforms, social media buzz alone is not enough to build and retain customer loyalty. Buzz is great for attracting new customers, but in order to keep them, you need to develop a long-term strategy. Staying power is what encourages customers to stick around.
In a report cited by Marketing Profs, brand impact, value-to-price ratio, and service and product delivery accounted for less than 50% of customer loyalty. The remaining percentage of customer loyalty was attributed to the customer's sales experience with the brand.
So, if it is not the buzz that you create on social media, or even your great product or service itself, what exactly is it that drives customer loyalty to your company? According to Forbes, the primary reason that customers stay is recognition. Customers want to know that they are appreciated. When you take the time to build a sales experience where customers feel recognized, welcomed, and have a hassle-free experience, they will choose to return to your business again and again.
All of that is not to say that you cannot use social media to drive customer loyalty. It simply means that social media buzz alone is insufficient. Rather than just relying on buzz, you need to harness the power of social media to interact with and engage your customers to provide the type of sales experience that will encourage them to stay with you.
Listening to Your Customers
Social media listening is an excellent way to tune into what your customers are saying and give them what they want. Obtaining customer feedback regarding their needs and wants is a vital part of building a loyal customer base. Not only is this important for providing the right services and products, but it can also be integral to establishing repeat sales. From tweets to Facebook posts, consumers today are able to instantly voice their opinions. While this can be disconcerting, it is valuable in terms of helping companies to gain a deeper understanding of their customers. For example, social media listening is effective in learning what your customers are saying about new products or services. The data derived from social media listening can also help you to identify what you are doing right, including mistakes you may be making. Understanding both your strengths and weaknesses is vital to building a long-term successful business.
Where do you turn to ensure that you are in the loop regarding what customers are saying about you? There are numerous products/tools available to streamline the social listening process. Many times,companies tend to focus solely on a single medium,when they should concentrate on the big picture. Sendible is one example of a social listening media tool that lets you do just that. Along with monitoring social media channels, Sendible also features mentions across the entire web. Sprout Social has also become recognized as a popular social listening tool. With Sprout Social, you can tap into brand mentions, new fans on Facebook, new Twitter followers, and unique visitors. This tool also includes an "Assign Task" feature that allows customer inquiries to be assigned to specific team members for faster responses and satisfied customers.
Social media can also facilitate building stronger customer relationships. In today's digital world, the old adage "the customer is always right" takes on an entirely new perspective. One complaint from a customer can quickly go viral. With careful listening, you can address potential issues while leveraging the opportunity to demonstrate the strength of your customer service. Even in situations where a customer has a negative experience, it is possible to transform it into a positive one by noting and responding to the customer's feedback. This is a golden opportunity to not only protect your brand, but also improve brand loyalty.
Rather than being afraid, it is important for companies to embrace the power that social media offers by making it easy for customers to find them on various platforms. An easy sharing app on your content encourages customers to share and engage with your brand.
Responding when there is a problem is not enough. The beauty of social media is that it allows you to conduct two-way conversations with your customers. In the past, marketing was simply disseminated in a one-way manner, thus providing no way for companies to interact with their customer base. Today, that has changed, and customers are certainly well aware.They have come to expect a response from the brands they give their business to. Forbes reports that 71% of consumers who receive a quick response from brands on social media were more likely to recommend that company to others.
Customer Loyalty Programs
By taking the time to respond to comments and thank customers when they share your content, you can build relationships with your customers. That is precisely what drives customer loyalty programs.
Building a strong customer loyalty program is not something that happens overnight. Instead, it takes time to deepen customer relationships. Another way to facilitate this goal is to provide your customers with valuable information. By creating and sharing information via social media that helps your customers to become more effective or efficient, you will become recognized as a valuable information source.
The more that you can tune into your customer base and respond to their needs and wants, the better positioned your company will be to retain customers. Social media buzz is a great launching point for attracting new customers, but it takes much more than that to get customers to stick around.