Social media can seem like somewhat of a conundrum for a lot of businesses, but social channels can give your customer loyalty numbers a huge boost if you use the right strategy. Read our top tips below and see your customers keep coming back.
Tip One: Tailored loyalty schemes
Loyalty schemes can form a great part of your overall sales and marketing strategy, but have you thought about running social-tailored schemes to boost loyalty amongst your customer base? Each social channel is very different, but requires an approach which appears cohesive to the consumer.
On Twitter, for example, where you are limited to character space, it might be a simple voucher-code post that will give your followers 20% off their next purchase. On Facebook, images receive the highest percentage of clicks, so you might want to run a competition to win a certain product which is pictured if they ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ to be entered into a prize-draw. Not only does it show that you understand the platform, but your consumer is more likely to follow you across channels in order to get all the deals.
Plus, you keep them interested by changing the deals frequently, which makes them visit your page more regularly. Once you’ve established which channels get the biggest response, and which offers are taken up, you can streamline your approach to focus on just those channels.
Tip Two: Retain by reward
The key to loyalty is of course maintaining it. The problem is that every time a customer comes back to you, you hit the re-set button on that initial connection you worked so hard to make; every experience is a fresh one and a fresh take on your brand, which is why social media can work wonders to keep this connection going in-between their purchases.
Don’t forget to reward your already loyal customers and focus your staff on engaging with consumers that have already demonstrated their interest in you. Studies have shown that loyalty makes a consumer pick a brand without any thought given to alternatives. The competition becomes null and void because they know that you will give them the best experience. Simple things like sending personalised emails to returning customers can do a lot, but social channels provide the perfect opportunity for you to engage in conversation with your consumer and provide them with great customer service at every touchpoint.
The simple fact of customer service is that if you keep them happy they will come back! Social media needs to be completely immersed into the customer service department, while you delegate your resources to tackle product queries, comments, questions and so on. If you can provide this level of depth and great service it will undoubtedly drive recommendations to other people in the community you are trying to reach.
Tip Three: Connect communities
The next step from this is connecting with that community. You need to aim your efforts at this specific consumer, so you should always start any campaign by developing a profile of your ideal customer and creating content to fit them. How do you know who he/she is? Identify specific traits that you can pick up on through your repeat-custom purchasing behaviour, your demographics data and so on.
Once you have identified that person, you can target your social media posts around that ideal to drive the right kind of traffic to your site – it’s fine to have thousands of followers, but if all of them are indifferent to your brand, it is better to have a few hundred loyal ‘likes’.
You can then use your social accounts to start conversations in this community; ask them to do a quick-click survey on your page to show that you care about their opinion as well as gaining valuable market research. Ask them to caption a funny photo or what they think of a sneak peek of a new line – you’re showing that you value them, so that they will find value in you.
Tip Four: Co-ordinate events
Establishing an online active community is fantastic, but you can take it to the next level by organising events around your cause. With Facebook’s huge reach and easy-to-use ‘Groups’ function, you can organise mass events for your entire customer-base. The Macmillian Coffee Morning Community page is the perfect example of this.
A simple idea to create the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning in 1991 was revived thanks to the sheer explosion in popularity of social media. The ability to co-ordinate thousands of people nationwide is something that is synonymous with social media unlike another other platform. You only have to look at their page to see how popular it is, but they don’t just post propaganda and marketing material – they care about their visitors, they aim their language and content at families, mothers and create that real sense of community. Note the fact that they reply even to comments that don’t warrant a response – they are recognising the fact that someone has taken the time to comment, and they’re showing that they appreciate it.
Tip Five: Exceed the lifespan
Another thing that the Macmillian example demonstrates is the ability for social media to exceed traditional lifespans. You would think that a coffee morning page would simply be for that event and then in effect, expire, but they have turned it into a year-round page. You need to provide something of real value with your promotion, your campaign, your new app, so that it exceeds the time restraints you would normally associate with it.
This page provides a comfortable environment for people to talk and discuss Macmillian, so it has become a kind of forum rather than a simple Facebook page. There is no end to the amount of potential social media can bring, with the ability to make an event or app go viral.
Don’t underestimate what social media can do for the loyalty of consumers – follow our tips and watch the clicks clock up!
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