Using social media effectively can be a savvy way to engage with your customers. When your clients appreciate your business, they're more likely to share their love on your company’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram accounts.
Similarly, when your buyers object to something via social media, it's because doing so is considered the fastest way to lodge a complaint. How your business responds — to both the positive and the negative — is key.
“Smart business owners and marketers focus on relationship building, either through regular content marketing or by having conversations with customers who are already familiar with the brand,” writes Jayson DeMers in Forbes.
Simply acknowledging customers' presence is all right, but if you can take steps to truly reward your most loyal customers or alleviate their issues with your business, you’ll strengthen your brand and build allegiance. Here are some ways to do just that:
1. Seed your social media site
Dedicated customers will like your business’s Facebook page and follow you on Twitter. Reward that loyalty by posting codes for discounts for online or in-person purchases.
“Free stuff is an easy win and a popular way to make fans feel like they are appreciated,” writes Ginger Anderson on Brands With Fans. The cupcake company Sprinkles regularly posts a “secret word” on their social media sites which customers can mention to get a free cupcake from brick-and-mortar locations.
“Free stuff is common, but what makes this one particularly great is that it’s a regular part of their business. Not a special promo, but something they do all the time,” says Anderson.
Giving something extra to customers who are active on social media is another way to recognize their loyalty, writes Gregory Ciotti on Help Scout. “You can reward your socially savvy customers with special announcements, exclusive promotions or just be available to help and answer questions,” he says.
2. Fix a glitch
Companies that respond well to complaints prove they respect their regulars. As Keith Quesenberry writes for Social Media Examiner, a customer tweeted to online shoe store Zappos that she was frustrated about a late delivery. When Zappos responded within the hour and offered a $50 coupon to use with her next order, the customer said she wouldn’t be able to use it before its due date.
Zappos quickly replied and said she could use it for her current order instead.
“Everyone makes mistakes, but what sets a company apart is admitting them,” says Quesenberry. “Owning up and saying ‘We’re sorry!’ is the best way to handle mistakes and show customers they matter.”
3. Announce your appreciation
There are many ways to say thank you. You can tweet at and retweet customers who mention your company, or spotlight great customers with their photos or short bios on your Facebook page or website, says Ciotti.
Or go one step further and send gifts. As Quesenberry writes, cyclist accessory company Chrome Industries identified their best customers and sent them limited-edition shirts. They also acknowledged and thanked customers who posted photos of themselves to Instagram with the hashtag #covetedjersey.
“Highlighting customers who take the time to consistently engage with your brand — and share it with their own networks — is a great way to thank them for supporting your company,” he writes.
About the Author
Cheryl Alkon is a freelance writer and has written for publications including USA Today, The New York Times, Prevention.com, More, Women’s Day, ENT Today, and Oncology Business Management. Find her at cherylalkon.com.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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