The nature of conversation has changed from "if" to "how" you should build relationships with your customers. The global social network penetration rate is about 54%, with a population of about 4.76 billion social media users.
The average daily social media usage of internet users increased to 151 minutes per day in 2022 from 147 minutes in 2021. The data shows that today, every business needs at least one active social media page.
The real dilemma now is about how to build relationships with followers on these platforms in a way that’ll give you a competitive edge. Below, we’ll show you the methods we’re using to build relationships on our platforms and those of our clients.
Why it’s Important to Build Customer Relationships
We all want our Instagram accounts to have thousands of followers. However, having many followers on social media counts if you have a relationship with most of them. Here are more reasons to develop long-term relationships with your customers on social media:
Social media will help you nurture your leads through your sales funnel
Social media is a reliable source of electronic word of mouth (e-WOM) for your business
Engaging your customers on social media will improve your customer loyalty and lifetime value level
Engaging your customers on social media will create better brand awareness
Now, let's discuss strategies to build customer relationships on social media.
1. Know Your Audience
Moving from one social media to another is like moving into a new neighborhood. You have to take your time to get to know the place. Most importantly, you must know your neighbors and all the people who make up the community. For example, you have to understand what they like or dislike.
When beginning a new relationship with your audience on social platforms, you will start at the "getting-to-know-you" phase. The information you gather during this phase will inform your decision on what content to post and how to interact with your target audience.
You can collect the following customer data using social media analytic tools like SproutSocial, Hubspot, or Hootsuite to help you create a relationship with your target customers.
Engaged audience through clicks, shares, comments, and likes
Your social media posts reach
Customer demographic data like age, location, behaviors, and
Note: listening to your audience lets you know a lot about your target customer. Another benefit of building relationships on social media is you can expect honest and quick customer feedback.
Your audience is not afraid of speaking their mind on social media platforms, which is why most people trust the information they collect in making buying decisions. Therefore, all you got to do to learn about your target customers is listen to the comments, feedback, reviews, inquiries, and testimonials they offer about your brand.
2. Personalize Your Social Media Content
The primary objective of social media is to help people connect people digitally with their friends, family, colleagues, like-minded people, or brands without meeting in person. Customers will want to develop a relationship with your brand on social media if they feel the "connection."
Therefore, you have to give them a reason to see your brand as another human friend or follower they have. Start with simple details like using the "I" and "me" pronouns rather than "us" or "we" pronouns in your posts.
Also, avoid pushing too much promotional content on your social media pages. Instead, focus on pushing personalized content that engages your audience. For example, do you remember the popular 'Share a Coke' campaign?
Coca-Cola managed to engage and build relationships with customers by simply encouraging them to share a picture of a Coke bottle bearing their name. Talk of e-WOM, brand awareness, customer engagement, brand loyalty, and customer relationships package in a simple personalized campaign.
3. Join the Conversation
It's human nature to want to be in a relationship with someone who cares. Unfortunately, there is a significant number of users who believe that many brands don't show enough care on social media.
There exists a kind of give-and-take relationship on social media. Don't just post your content and disappear. You have to stay long enough to entertain your guests.
For example, some customers will use your post as an opportunity to inquire about your products or services. And these customers will trust your brand more if you promptly respond to their inquiries.
Recent social media statistics show that 40% of consumers expect brands to respond within the first hour of reaching out online. Moreover, you risk a 15% increase in churn rate when you fail to respond to comments on social media.
You can encourage customer engagement with your brand by doing more than just liking, retweeting, or sharing posts. Put your brand out more like you do with your personal account and become a part of the customer conversations on your page or customer profiles.
4. Create Valuable and Engaging Content
Your social media page is like flowers; bees will only visit if they have pollen and nectar. Engaging content, such as videos, stories, infographics, blog posts, or images, is the pollen and nectar of the social media flower.
The best part about social media is that sharing is highly encouraged. Therefore, it doesn't always have to be you creating compelling content.
Sometimes, you can encourage your audience to be active followers. For example, create posts encouraging the audience to share their stories, opinions, or general discussion on your page.
Moreover, don't forget that your social media pages will also attract target customers in their buying process's awareness and consideration stage. So, once in a while put out some educational content like how-to videos of your products and services to cater to the needs of such customers.
Note: content that focuses on sales is a huge repellant for customer relationships on social media. People get easily turned off when they walk into social media and get bombarded with too many sales posts.
5. Appreciate Your Customers with Rewards and Incentives
Online relationships are no different from those in real life. Everyone has that stingy friend that they don't like so much. You don't want to be the stingy brand on social media. Especially now that people love free stuff and get excited when they get presents from their favorite brands or celebrities.
Use available opportunities to create some buzz on your social media pages by hosting contests and giveaways. Depending on their magnitude, such incentives may even make your brand trend on social media.
Keep it simple but relatable to your brand, products, or services. Ask your customers questions that trigger discussions and reward the most impressive responses. Also, establish a giveaway system specifically to reward your loyal customers. For example, you can have a goodies basket to reward 'customer of the month.'
Use your social media pages to offer coupons and announce discounts on your products and services. Ensure they are random so that your most active followers benefit the most.
These appreciation efforts are another sign that you care and value your customers.
Start Building Your Customer Relationships Today
You need to develop better customer relationships on social media to convert more of your leads into paying customers and increase brand loyalty. Though it sounds like too much work, don't have to worry about implementing all these tips by yourself. Hire us as your social media manager and leave the rest to us.