marketing, digital marketing, social media, social media marketing, customer service
Engaging with customers is key to a brand’s success. After all, 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. By consistently interacting with your audience and responding to their thoughts, you can take advantage of every opportunity to build trust and nurture a relationship that will keep customers returning.
Social media provides a wealth of space to do just this, but how can brands maximise their opportunities to have fresh and positive interactions with customers? We’ve put together a list of five innovative ways to invite more engagement.
1) Celebrate your milestones together
If it’s your tenth year in business, why not announce the event on your online channels and thank the customers who helped you get there with a discount or other promotional reward? This can help garner attention for a growing company, showcase your brand as personable, and provide an opportunity to directly interact with customers all at once. You could even keep your social media profile rising by offering rewards for your customers when you reach a certain follower milestone, encouraging them to share your profile and participate in your journey there.
2) Hold a Q&A session
Take an active stance toward helping your customers and invite their queries in dedicated Q&A events online. This is also an opportunity to humanise your brand by introducing the team member who will be answering questions. If it suits your industry, you could even use a little humour, like Dublin company Mick’s Garage, whose light-hearted approach on Facebook invited a mix of both serious and humorous questions from followers.
3) Host a watch-party
Video content has been proven to be one of the most effective tools for engaging customers, so why not go one step further and utilise a streaming service to host a live watch-party? That is, a continuous live-stream of an activity that your customers can tune in to.
Most major social media platforms, such as YouTube and Facebook, now offer features to let you live-stream, which will suit most needs. There are also specialised streaming services such as Twitch aimed at specific activities, however, so it’s worth browsing through the options. Streams will typically be accompanied by a comment or chat box for your customers to send you live feedback and discuss your broadcast with one another. The type of watch-party you hold can be entirely dependent on your business style and services.
Are you an information or advice firm? Then why not hold a webinar to teach your customers about an interesting topic, and answer their questions as you go? If you’re a gaming company, why not host a play-through of a game that inspired you to enter the industry and share the fun with your customers? If the processes your industry uses are little-known, why not do a live office tour to showcase what goes on behind-the-scenes? The possibilities are near endless.
4) Hold a competition or post a poll
Recently, Doncaster Council made headlines when a Twitter poll to name its two newest gritting vehicles recieved over 1,600 retweets. The competition garnered hundreds of replies, with imaginative name suggestions varying from ‘Spready Mercury’ to ‘Grittney Houston.’ The eventual champions of the nine-day Twitter storm were ‘David Plowie’ and, incredibly, ‘Gritsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Anti-slip Machinery.’ The competition resulted in greater-than-expected publicity for the Council, and allowed them to have continued spirited interactions with their residents.
While asking for customer input can sometimes garner unwieldy results (See the Boaty McBoatface debacle), by leaning in to humour and genuinely valuing customer input, a company can utilise this method to develop a strong bond with its customers.
5) Support your customers in return
Finally, your company can really benefit from supporting its customers just as much as they support you. Follow your customers back on social media platforms, and pay attention to what they’re posting to their feeds. Is a customer trying to promote a charitable cause that your company could get behind and share? Have they just launched a product of their own that would be relevant for you to retweet? A little support can go a long way, and having faith in your customers can inspire them with trust and loyalty for your brand in return.
Boosting your interaction with customers is vital to retaining their loyalty and recognition, and using one of these strategies is a great way to keep your approach to those interactions fresh and creative.