I remember when I purchased some stuff from a newbie brand. After purchasing, there were some issues with the parcel I received.
I got in touch with that brand on Facebook and….
You can feel the level of anger in my capitalized letters…
That very time, I thought to write a detailed post on why making meaningful connections with customers is of utmost importance and how you can build a healthy relationship with them.
When I researched more on the subject I got to know that I am not alone; even several researches back my statement.
In 2018, PWC’s Global Consumer Insights Survey was conducted in which respondents were asked about the online media they frequently use to inspire their purchases.
Social media topped the list of answers by 37%, while other mediums like comparison websites and other retailer websites followed with 32% and 34%, respectively.
The above statistic is a reason enough for brands to use social media such that it becomes a path that successfully ends up winning the customer’s heart.
Active social media engagements by companies have subsequently helped them form long term, purposeful relations with their customers.
Marketing via social media calls for using customized strategies that will build persistent relationships with customers.
These schemes used by brands are aimed towards giving the customer a great experience, which will further strengthen brand loyalty and preference over competitors.
A Walker study predicts overtaking of price and product by customer experience as the key brand differentiator.
What are your social media platforms for?
Remember that your social platforms are not your storefronts, where you only put up products on display. If you do that, customers will run away without looking back…
No one wants their fun social media scrolling to be bombarded by promotions constantly. Neither will they be interested in boring posts that explain a business in dense jargon.
Instead, go beyond selling by providing them a fun and engaging experience on social media that will intrigue them about your brand.
Once they realize you are giving value, which they desire, they will look forward to being your devoted customers.
Read on to know some fantastic ways to connect with your audience via social media and build a good bond with them.
1. Use analytics to create and sort customer persona
The target audience for any brand is diversified. Take an example of a feminine clothing brand that may have a vast customer base depending upon the origin, preferences, financial status, and several other details.
To form a connection with each segment of the audience, you need to assort them via analytics provided by every social media platform. After that, create separate persona and plan strategies to target each segment.
Customer segmentation greatly helps a brand to map journeys of consumers and identify areas needing improvements.
It also makes the planning of social media strategies a lot easier and focused. Dedicate a specific day or time to post for each persona.
2. Associate with the audience on a personal level
“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” – Steve Jobs
Posting user-generated content is a highly effective social media tactic that helps generate leads by promoting your brand.
Simply put, you need to encourage the audience to post about your brand mentioning you. In return, you can do the same by featuring their content on yours.
In a way, user-generated content works like a salesperson that you never need to pay.
Refer to woman-centric media brand Refinery29’s impressive initiative 29rooms. Its Instagram features thought-provoking, fun, and colorful work by various artists that offer moments of reflections. It lets Refinery29’s brand partners connect with customers in real life.
3. Respond to comments with a professional demeanor
Your social media engagements must show the humble side of you as a brand to let the customers know that you aren’t overbearing neither assertive.
Quickly addressing the customer’s queries, issues, suggestions, and praises is the best thing you can do to bond with them.
Have some set responses accessible to reply quickly to general questions. Show gratitude when they write something good about you, but also try to turn an unsatisfied customer into a loyal one just like Wendy’s do on their twitter handle.
Do you know what Bill Gates says regarding unhappy customers?
He thinks they are the greatest source of learning for any brand! A little tip here, use the eClincher tool if you have a high influx of comments that are difficult to monitor or respond quickly.
4. Show them that you value their opinions
Conducting polls dedicated to each persona or asking questions are some easy ways to gather the feedback of your customers.
Research by Gartner found that timely feedback (collected at the point-of-experience) is 40% more valid than an opinion received even as quickly as 24 hours later.
Feedbacks allow you to see your brand from the perspective of the customer. It is way cheaper than other survey methods, and definitely more apt at providing consumer insights.
Regarding relationship building, implementing on feedbacks improve the perception of your company in the customer’s mind, and they are encouraged to give more feedback.
Netflix is at its creative best on its Instagram stories as well. They frequently post-pop quizzes and polls that test their audience’s knowledge about their favorite shows. This fantastic strategy gives them frequent feedback to improve their service.
5. Upload useful content surrounding our niche
Customers will buy from you if you establish yourself as an expert, or if they think your product is better at solving their problem.
Leather skin shop is one such brand that engages the audience by posting helpful and engaging content on their social platforms.
They recently uploaded a video on their Youtube channel on how to measure yourself at home for buying a leather jacket online. Helpful content like this is aimed at solving the actual issues that the audience faces, like the size issue which seldom perplexes an online buyer is addressed here.
other than videos, you can try posting infographics, fun facts, quotes, and blog links that could appeal to your audience.
6. Shun perfection sometimes for the sake of relatability
Real-life is not airbrushed, and brands should encourage the audience to accept and flaunt their imperfections to make them feel relatable.
Prestigious beauty brand Sephora‘s Instagram page has a series of videos where instead of quintessential celebrities, the brand’s team members themselves talk about the skincare products that they use.
This type of content is much more relatable to customers who find comfort in knowing an imperfect person’s opinion who is just like them.
7. Occasionally give them something to laugh about
Humor ain’t bad!
A pinch of humor can be quite refreshing for your audience mid scroll.
Brands that often post funny responses, memes, and humorous videos can successfully amass a dedicated following, which can potentially turn into loyal customers.
In addition to this, your customers may make the post viral by sharing it further, which is a win-win situation for your brand as it gets higher visibility.
Here is how Taco Bell usually responds to customers in a witty manner to make their day:
8. Inspire your audience
Your audience will love you if you keep motivating and uplifting them with inspirational content.
Motivation is something in which human beings find absolute comfort, so a frequent dose of it is essential to keep our spirits high.
Whatever your brand does, find a cause that is relatable to both you and your target audience.
Create motivational content on that cause and provide your audience with a purpose to get attracted to your brand. Take Dove’s “treat yourself” board on Pinterest as an example here.
9. Diversify your feed with some inside scoops
Why feel shy to show some behind the scene peeks of your brand to the audience? You are just as human as your customers, isn’t it? Both you and your audience could find a common thread to stay connected via some inside scoop you share with them.
Disney needs no introduction, and they have made noteworthy relations with their consumers via following types of posts on their Instagram:
- Behind the scene clips from upcoming projects and their trailers
- Giving inside details of the forthcoming attractions at Disneyland
- Promoting Disney merchandise.
10. Excite them with heads up on upcoming products
Even an ordinary product looks like a regal one if its launch has been anticipated by the customers. Refer to how the famous brand Pop-Tarts is introducing its new product in an appealing way to its Twitter followers.
By now, I hope you are well equipped with the knowledge to nail your social media engagements that can form meaningful connections with your audience. These strategies can take your marketing to a whole new level.
As a bonus, you will also witness an increase in your loyal customers the brands mentioned above did.
Lastly, it’s vital that you embed links to your social media platforms on the homepage of your official website, and make yourself easy to find for the audience out there.