Social media presents an amazing opportunity for brands to branch out from a one-sided conversation and truly engage with their customers on a regular basis. Such engagements present vital insights into your customers' mindsets and why they choose your products and services. If it seems as though, despite your best efforts, you are still conducting a one-sided conversation and struggling to engage your customer base, it may be time to re-evaluate what you are doing. Perhaps you are missing vital opportunities to interact with your customers.
Not Asking Customers to Interact
Stop for a moment and ask yourself whether you are actually asking customers to interact with you, or are you simply assuming that they will do so. There are many reasons why brands are often fearful of directly asking customers to interact and provide feedback. The most common reason is a fear that such a move will backfire. While that is certainly a risk, asking customers to provide feedback should be viewed as an opportunity to build rapport and establish trust with your customer base. When you ask customers to provide feedback, you are letting them know that you care about what they think. Furthermore, feedback can also prove to be vital in terms of gaining insights into what your customers want and expect from your brand. If you do happen to receive some negative responses, maintain a professional approach and use that feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
Not Responding to Comments on Social Media
Engagement is a two-way street. You cannot expect to publish content and your customer base to continue engaging with you if you do not respond to their initial comments. Keep in mind that for many people in your customer base, particularly millennials, social media is often the go-to-source for everything from news to shopping recommendations. When your customer base engages with you in social media, it is imperative that you not only respond, but also that you do so as quickly as possible. How fast should you respond? A recent study found that half of the respondents surveyed expect a response to comments in social media within an hour.
When a brand fails to respond in a timely manner, users tend to become annoyed, a trend most prevalent among millennials. Respondents indicated that failure to receive a timely response was more likely to create a negative impression regarding a brand. Furthermore, two-thirds of respondents indicated they were likely to take negative actions towards the brand, including telling others about their experiences, ceasing future purchases, and escalating their concerns through other communication sources, including social media. Focus on keeping your responses natural and conversation-like. While it should never be unprofessional, the more conversational your exchanges with customers are, the better your results will be.
Not Using Analytics to Analyze Results
How can you know that you are failing at customer engagements if you are not tracking them? Just as it is important to track your website analytics, it is also imperative to track how you are faring on social media. For all major social media platforms, it is possible to use analytics to determine exactly which types of content and posts tend to drive the most traffic. Such insights can also help you to determine which subjects are of the most interest to your target base. You can use this knowledge to develop relevant and valuable content for your customers. You can take advantage of numerous tools for gaining insights into what is or is not working. Socionomix Analytics is one tool that gives you the ability to measure how effective your social media efforts are. With this tool, you gain more than just numbers. You also have the ability to identify the influencers who are actively discussing your brand, as well as your competitors, so that you can effectively target these influencers and gain more traction.
Not Bringing Customers into the Fold
Everyone likes to feel as though they are a part of something. If you are not actively working to make your customers feel as though they are a part of your brand's community, you are missing out on tremendous opportunities for engagement and potential sales. Social media presents a fabulous opportunity to do more than just disseminate information. There are countless ways in which you can engage your base by making them feel valuable and a part of your brand. For instance, images have been proven to be fantastic for driving engagement. Tap into the power of images by posting pictures of special events your brand has hosted.
Not Being Topical
Today, social media users have brands clamoring for their attention. If you are not able to deliver relevant, timely and valuable content, your customers will likely ignore you or even worse, unfollow you. Make sure that your posts tie back to your brand and your messaging. Keep in mind that doing so often means walking a fine line. While the content that you share should always be relevant, you must also avoid the risk of spam and aggressive selling. Overly aggressive sales messages can be off-putting to consumers and cause your posts to be penalized by social media platforms, including Facebook. Avoid this problem by making certain that you always have a valid reason for posting. Avoid posting simply for the sake of posting.
Social media presents a tremendous opportunity for brands to reach out and actively engage their customer base. When handled correctly, social media engagement can provide valuable insight into consumer behavior that few other marketing mediums can match. If your brand's engagement is not what is should be, take some time to evaluate what you are doing, or perhaps not doing that could make a significant difference.