Social media platforms are the most unique of all the channels used for customer engagement. On one hand, they are excellent for responding to customer service inquiries. However, their inherently fun and personal nature also make them ideal for telling brand stories, sharing interesting visual content, and engaging customers in conversations proactively. And statistics show that customers are definitely responding: Forrester states that 80% of consumers use social channels to engage with companies. Here are six ways to engage your customers on social media.
Each social media platform has its own community, codes, and social functions. Not all platforms allow you to achieve the same goals:
Depending on your business goals, you can choose the most suitable platforms to reach your target audience and effectively promote your brand. Once you understand the specificities of each social media platform, you can optimize your practices and create unique communities for each platform to engage your customers further.
First and foremost, your social channels should be used to deliver great customer service. Ad Week notes that 54% of customers actually prefer these channels for service over phone and email. If you ignore your customers’ messages, the price can be quite high: One-third of Americans have used these channels to complain about a brand. Your customer service agents therefore need to monitor and respond to inquiries in a timely manner. Negative comments should never be ignored, and agents may invite frustrated customers to continue the conversation on a private channel. Do not forget that your customers expect a quick resolution to their issues. Make sure to provide concrete and effective solutions to their concerns.
Personalize customer interactions. They want to feel treated as individuals, not just a number. Use their name in responses, and adapt your tone to their communication style.
Maintain professionalism, even if a customer is angry or frustrated. Stay calm and courteous in your responses. Avoid defensive replies and use professional language.
Lastly, train your customer service teams. Ensure that your customer service team is well-trained to handle customer inquiries on social media and has the necessary resources to resolve issues.
Social channels are a great place to share brand stories. Through photos and videos, your company can tell the story of how your brand originated. Such storytelling is especially appealing to millennial customers who enjoy emotional connections with the brands they support.
It is also possible to share various kinds of information through visual content:
By sharing brand-related stories on social media, you can create an emotional connection with customers and strengthen their engagement with your brand. Remember to keep the stories authentic and aligned with your company values.
One of the most creative ways to engage customers proactively is through contests. For example, you might use your social channels to ask customers to vote on favorite products, choose names for new products, or even share videos and photos of themselves with your merchandise. Such engagement makes customers feel that they are part of a community, and it makes them happy to support you.
Educating your customers on social media is an effective way to enhance their engagement and loyalty towards your brand.
While some social channels are easily accessible from non-mobile devices, remember that many customers prefer using these platforms on the go. In addition, some messaging apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat are designed for smartphones. Be sure to cater to your mobile customers by offering support on the go, such as using chatbots in messaging programs that provide quick, automated service. Social media channels have excellent potential for customer engagement. By balancing service communications with proactive publications of appealing brand content, you can meet a wide audience of customers who are eager to engage with you online.
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