Today’s consumer connects to their favored brands through social media. Don’t underestimate the power of a smartphone that is logged in to several social accounts: Sprout Social’s report entitled “What consumers want from brands in a divided society” found that 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them. It also reports that 91% of people believe in social’s power to connect people.
When customers were asked what the best place for brands is to connect with their customers, the report's respondents indicated social media as the number one channel for this opportunity. Connected consumers live up to this expectation: the report found that 57% of consumers will "increase their spending with that brand" and "76% will buy from them over a competitor" when they feel connected to the brands on social.
How then can brands improve their social media strategy to increase revenue and widen their customer reach? Being a medium where people connect, your brand needs to show customers that you care. Consumers want to know they’re being talked to as human beings and are also interacting with an empathic person from the other end. Here are five ways to show customers you care through social media.
1. Respond as fast as you can.
With messaging and announcements done in seconds online, your customers expect an immediate response to their queries. You don’t have to reply seconds after receiving a message, tweet, or comment, but Social Habit reports that 32% of consumers expect a response in 30 minutes. The effects of a late or lack of response can lead to shame or angry posts on social media.
Beyond brand reputation, a timely response also increases your brand revenue. Twitter reports that airlines who respond in six minutes or less ended up with consumers who spend an extra $20 for their fare. Reliability and trust are the foundations of a loyal customer.
2. Show gratitude.
A customer who expresses their gratitude for fast delivery, high-quality product, or fast service in a social post is an opportunity worth mining. Start with a simple re-share of their post on Instagram or Facebook. Make sure to tag them in the post so that they feel that added connection. Be sure to amplify their posts on your own page. Always reciprocate to a positive post or review and you can easily add free marketing to your page.
3. Make the exchanges personal.
Today’s consumers don’t like receiving automated messages or responses. While this could work for concerns that have generic responses, social media is where people to connect so every response needs to be personalized in each interaction. It is where they message, connect, and tweet friends and family, so a similar level of comfort needs to be established with every brand interaction on your social channels.
Write each post or message as if you’re talking to a friend. Incorporate their first name so that they feel the message was written specifically for them. End all comments or messages with your company name. Make sure the tone is friendly and comes off as approachable. At the same time, don’t make it sound like the conversation has ended at that point. They need to feel you’re available for any further replies and clarifications. It can be as simple as “let us know if you need anything else” at the end of your tweet. You keep the customer engaged and make your brand both accessible and available.
4. Sound like a person.
This may sound like ridiculous advice, but companies tend to use a template so that your posts stay “on-brand.” However, staying on-brand can happen without sounding like a robot or a generic template filled out. Show your company’s human side with posts that your target persona would write. How would the customer persona use emojis? How would that customer persona sound? If you want to bank on topics or hashtags that are trending on Twitter, how would your persona react to them?
You can also keep it simple with a few posts that show the people behind your brand. Share a few photos of your Thanksgiving or Christmas party. Introduce the people who help grow your business and share their stories. These will deepen your connection with followers online and remind them that at the end of the day, every transaction is also a relationship.
5. Surprise your customers.
Relationships are strengthened through kind and surprise gestures like a random bouquet sent on a non-anniversary or a box of chocolates given to a loved one after they’ve had a bad day. You can do something similar on social media with your customers. Build your relationships through special discounts, exclusive event invites, and other promos that followers can avail of through social channels.
You could also anticipate their needs after you’ve released a new product or service. Don’t wait for customers to ask for clarification or help. Get ahead of the frequently asked questions and post a guide they can use. Being one step ahead shows them you’re always prioritizing customers.
Showing customers you care can’t be done overnight. You need to study your brand, review your consumer behavior, and analyze any interactions you have online. But good social media managers are hard to find due to their specialized expertise. If your business does not have the capacity to hire and train a social media team, you could outsource this aspect to a reliable company such as Infinit-O.
Infinit-O is a trusted customer experience solutions partner that can help you build and operate a dedicated team of CX professionals of every level including inbound and outbound specialists designed specifically for your unique needs, with cost savings of up to 70%. We can help you meet your goals, whether they be growth, better productivity or simply bottom-line cost savings. With access to excellent talent who use cutting-edge technology, we provide some of the best strategic solutions for your business. We are ISO-certified and GDPR-compliant, so your company and client data are safe with us.