If you aren’t fully utilizing social media for your business you could be shooting yourself in the foot. According to an article on Social Media Today, the latest research regarding social media usage indicates the chances are excellent that your customers are on social media – most likely several platforms. With almost half of the global population actively using the internet and more than 2.206 billion people the world over using social media (about 30%) with those numbers steadily growing, if your customers aren’t on social media yet, they will be soon.
As far as the various social media platforms go, this breakdown by Pew Research Center should put it into perspective.
A good SEO strategy utilizes social media outlets to control the story in a positive way. It is a delicate balance though. Knowing how to promote your business without people realizing that’s what you are doing is the key to creating a buzz, boosting your social media branding, and inspiring people to share your stuff. It is how you get people talking.
Yes, social media is great for showing off your products, promoting your business, and giving your brand a voice, but it is really so much more than that. Social media customer engagement is an incredibly effective way to extend beyond promotion, it is a way to connect with customers and find out what they want.
Lenovo is a great example of this concept. They use social media to provide value to their customers and improve the customer experience. They don’t just post to their customers, they listen to them. It is this unique approach of listening to customer conversations that has given Lenovo a true edge over their competition. They simply listen to their customers and know what their customers want as well as upcoming trends on the horizon – usually before their competition has a clue about either..
People love their communities and they love stories that are local to them. Create stories that are specific to a community, add a positive spin, and watch it take off. For instance, say you have a company based in Hawaii and they want to target customers in Honolulu. They create a Honolulu based, positive post and send it on its way. It may discuss a product; it may not. It could talk about what the company is doing in the community, it could be about any number of things.
As long as it is tied to that company’s social media account, as it gets shared folks are going to click back to the original poster – that company – and check out their profile. All the company has to do is make sure it is ready to receive those visitors and the page effectively funnels them to the website, which is optimized to funnel that traffic into meaningful conversations.
Customers will often take to social media to voice complaints. Unfortunately, research shows that 58 percent of those complaints are never addressed by the company. It isn’t rocket science. If you want to get people talking, do something wrong. If you really want to get people talking, do something to acknowledge and correct what you did wrong.
Ellen Brasse, creator of grocery app coop@home (for Switzerland grocer, Coop) responded to customer complaints and resolved problems quickly. After running some numbers, she saw an interesting pattern. The customers who were the most loyal were the ones who had expressed a complaint and their problem had been resolved. This even exceeded the number of customers who had never had a complaint.
There’s a good lesson there. Many businesses like to ignore the negative feedback from their customers, but when they address them and try to resolve them, good things happen – and a loyal customer is born.