Social media is a powerful tool to help small businesses survive. And even thrive if leveraged well.
This is because customers use social media as a way of spending time and relaxing for several hours every day. And as much as 20% of people say they can't go for an hour without checking social media. Also, most consumers use one or the other form of social media to research products. It's a quick and easy way to get product information. And it's a great way to connect with the brand.
Business owners need to realize that their customer response on social media plays a key role in keeping the customer glued to the brand. You need to be quick and effective in reaching out to people. Doing so makes your brand appear more reliable to customers who will come back for another buy.
Essentially, you need to be more customer-centric on social media. Many businesses instead focus on promoting themselves. Not realizing that they're really putting people off.
Let's look at three ways to be customer-centric on social to up profits:
- Social Listening
- Customer Retention
- Customer Engagement
Let’s dive into each aspect in greater detail.
It’s a method of keeping a track of conversations on different social platforms. This helps you understand what people think about you. For example, conversations people have about your product on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Or tracking relevant hashtags and brand mentions from existing or potential customers.
Another way to use social listening is to understand what people think about your competitors. You can’t ignore your competition and how consumers react to their strategies. Since this will tell you where you stand in the market.
Social listening is important to keep pace with changing trends so that you can tweak your social strategy online. For example, post-pandemic there is a new trend where people are more interested in online courses. You could leverage this and create online courses and tips and share them on your social profiles. And respond to people's queries on social media asking for help. In this way, social listening lets you hop on to changing trends easily.
Finally, analyze your audience's questions on social media and reply fast. Replying to a customer quickly leads to customer retention and brand loyalty. In essence, you are feeling the pulse of the customers’ real sentiments through social listening. Now, you can plan your next steps based on what you discover.
Tracking customer engagement on social media tells you how people react to your content. And it helps you check the customer's level of interest.
How do you know if people are responding to your post? Here are a few indicators:
Customers use social platforms to seek product support. However, many businesses fail to answer customer queries on Facebook, Twitter, and other places. You can engage your customer more by responding to them on your social media pages by way of:
- Blogs, posts, and Newsletters
- Quick replies to likes and comments
- DIY or self-help videos
When the customer is happy with your response and finds them useful, they’ll frequent your social pages more often. This makes the customer believe that your product is the best and they'll trust your brand, which will lead to more sales.
Acquiring new customers costs 5-6x more than retaining existing ones. Small businesses need to focus on providing better customer responses on social media to ensure greater retention. And this creates trust between your brand and the customer.
Here are a few tips to be more customer-friendly on social media.
- Respond to your customer within the next 10 minutes or at least within a day.
- Try to keep the social media customer support and social media marketing team separate. So that customers get their queries resolved by the right team.
- If the customer support is not 24/7 then mention the working hours. You can use chatbots during nonworking hours for customer replies.
- Avoid using templates or canned answers and try to provide customized responses.
- Every time a customer interacts with you, try to provide added information on offers. Share links to product-related reading and blogs that help the customer.
- Always maintain a friendly or positive tone. Reply to every line of customer conversation.
- The customer always likes surprises and offers even if they are small. Make sure you always give that extra attention or a takeaway to your customer. This can be in the form of a coupon code or a link to a useful download.
By leveraging social media to retain customers, small businesses can grow their profits.
We’ve looked at several ways you can improve customer experience on social media to make your business more profitable.
It’s up to you now to put it into action. So, get started and give your social media strategy a kickstart and you’ll grow your business starting today.