11 Tips for Building Customer
Relationships Using Social Media
Social media has taken over our lives. Scrolling through different channels and switching between different platforms has become a part of our daily routine.
With over 3.96 billion people using social media every day, it is only obvious that you should leverage these platforms for your business. But before you head on to posting random photos of your products, think about all the ways you can leverage social media.
Building relationships with your customers is one of the most crucial uses of social media that many tend to overlook. You can build some long-lasting and memorable relationships with your customers across different platforms.
Connecting with the audience or building a relationship with them is a very fragile undertaking. Fragile but indispensable. This is because, to make a sale, you must truly harness human emotions. And that’s possible only if there’s a connection.
Humans are emotional beings, and they will always make a decision based on how they feel when they think about your product or use your product. And building a relationship with them plays a major role in caressing those emotions.
Of course, there are certain social media do’s and don’ts that you should be keeping in mind. When not done right, it can get very easy to lose yourself in the world of likes and followers that can hamper your reputation.
To make sure you are always putting your best foot forward and not letting social media overwhelm you, we have a list of tips that you should keep in mind when you are planning to build relationships with your customers using social media.
Here are a few do’s to remember when planning to build customer relationships and connections using different social media platforms.
1. Listen To Your Audience First
This is perhaps the most overlooked step that a business takes before they start using social media. Many brands skip observing and understanding the needs of their audience. Instead, they go ahead and start sharing posts based on what will work for the brand.
This “what’s in it for me” approach can hamper your reputation more than it can benefit it. This is because you will be posting content that you think is relevant, but in reality, your audience might just want to see something else.
You could be informative, creative, consistent, and all the necessary things that are needed to beat the algorithm, but your audience still won’t find your content relevant if you don’t make your strategy customer centric.
Hence, before you start creating content, put sincere efforts into understanding who your audience is. Also, answer questions about their needs, preferences, and pain points. You can do this by running a survey or by sending a questionnaire across to a few of your customers.
This way you will be able to share information that’s not only fun but also adds value to the lives of the consumers. This in turn makes it easy for you to build a connection with the customers.
2. Keep Your Conversations Personalized
When you post good content out there, you will get good engagement. You might receive comments on your posts or maybe even direct messages to your inboxes. Now, you don’t want to make the mistake of using Chatbots or sending automated messages from your social media accounts.
If you do this, it can make your customer feel they’re less important for your brand. To build valuable relationships with your customers, you would want them to feel special. Thus, it’s best to ensure when a customer is reaching out to you, it’s you who is talking to them. Also, don’t forget to personalize your messages.
You can use their first name to address them. You can also share your name when you are starting a conversation so that they at least know who they are talking to.
Also, wherever, and whenever possible, your aim or your team’s aim should be to be friendly towards them. Keep in mind that your task is to ensure they are comfortable and that their issues are being resolved quickly.
The better customer service you offer, the better are your chances of building a relationship with your customers.
3. Show The Faces Behind the Brand
One thing that’s needed to target your customer’s emotions is to showcase your brand’s heart and soul. And these are the faces behind your brand.
Let us take an example to understand this.
Suppose you are a digital marketing firm that offers SEO services. You can showcase the human side of your brand by sharing interviews with your employees or even by sharing something from the founder’s desk. You can even share snippets from ‘Behind-The-Scenes’ if you offer photography services for your clients’ marketing.
This will help people understand who works behind those brilliant marketing campaigns. This can further attract more customers just based on how humanized and friendly your brand is.
Or, if you are a coffee brand, you can share snippets of your men at work. You can show the entire process of bringing coffee from the farm to the dining tables of your customers. In this process, you can show what face is responsible for what part of the process.
The more humans your customers see, the easier it will be for them to understand that the people behind your brand are just like them. Thus, making it easy to connect.
4. Take Care of Your Response Time
It is a notion that you should reply to the comments that you get after it has been a couple of hours or sometimes even days. That’s a myth and something you should avoid at all costs.
You must ensure you are responding to your customers within 30 minutes of them engaging with your content. This is because most of the time, your users have issues or queries that they want to be resolved as soon as possible. If you don’t respond to these queries quickly, you might just add to your customer’s frustration.
You can use social listening tools to ensure you are not missing out on anything.
These tools help you understand what your customers are saying about your brand anywhere on social media platforms. This helps you be at the right place at the right time. If they are saying something positive, you can appreciate their reviews. You can also thank them for their kind words.
If they have something negative to say, don’t run away. Make sure you are answering all the negative comments politely and asking your audience to connect with you personally. This helps ensure you are not hampering your public reputation in any manner. This also makes your customers and other prospects witness that their feedback matters. It is a great start to build a loyal customer base.
5. Reward Your Customers Once in A While
Your customers, especially those who have been loyal to you all these years, certainly deserve some appreciation. This is because they choose your brand over a thousand others that are available in the market at their disposal.
You can show this appreciation by rewarding them. It’s not to bribe them into buying your products but just a token of thanks for showing their support all this while.
To reward your customers, you can host a contest or a giveaway. Often, these practices help generate a buzz around your brand as your customers start sharing bits about your brand on their social media platforms. As a result, you get an entry into the social network of your customers, thus expanding your reach.
You can even maybe start a concept of ‘client of the month’. This could further make your customers feel special. Just make sure you are being fair in selecting the winner every month.
Such appreciation and your efforts of putting your customers in the limelight will lead to you having a community of your loyal audience.
6. Utilize Customer Feedback and Reviews
See, one thing you must learn about social media is that you will not always have a positive response on your social channels. This is how every business works. While some will love your brand, there will always be others that don’t.
As a result, you will always find individuals leaving a mix of positive and negative feedback on your products. Does this mean you will hide your negative issues away? Not at all. If you do that, your brand will start to look fishy. It will seem like you know that your product is not worthy and yet, you are selling it. This can spoil your brand name irrevocably.
You should instead make your customers aware that you really appreciate them bringing these issues to the light. Make them understand that actions will be taken to ensure no one faces such issues in the future again.
This will help your customers understand that your brand listens. It doesn’t matter if they had a good experience or a bad one with your product. But they will remember your brand for offering such remarkable customer service.
7. Take Your User’s Opinions
Social media is all about your customers. Whatever you plan to post or the way you choose to address queries in your DMs is for them. It only makes sense to take user’s opinions on certain aspects of your business.
You can ask your users about what you should be doing next. If you are a beverage brand, you can ask your customers what flavors they would like to try. Similarly, you can even ask your customer’s honest opinions on current products, asking them what could be improved or what would they add.
This will give you plenty of ideas and tips to make your entire brand customer centric. Then, not only will your customers feel special, but they will also have a product that would have been developed especially for them.
It won’t be difficult building a customer relationship after that.
8. Don’t Try to Be Sales-y
One of the biggest mistakes you can make on social media is being sales-y with your social media accounts. Social media includes the platforms that many uses to just connect with other human beings with similar tastes and preferences.
Now, if you keep your messaging in a way that it sounds like you are always trying to sell something, you will lose out on precious prospective relationships. Thus, if you are looking to build a connection with your audience, use social media for what it’s meant to be used for.
Entertain your customers, educate them about your product or your industry, and make them aware of your brand subtly. Don’t bombard their social profiles with the sale pitches. It’ll drive them away, leaving your social media stale.
9. Use Social to Offer Customer Service
Social media is not just a platform that you can use to reach out to your customers and that’s the beauty of it. You can use social media platforms as a two-way communication channel, unlike the traditional advertising methods.
Give your customers a platform, a space where they can reach out to you in real-time in case of any queries or issues. Ensure that you are addressing these grievances or customer feedback at the earliest.
When you resolve your customer problems effectively and efficiently, you give them a chance to make a purchase again despite having a poor experience with one of your products. This is because they know they can trust you if they face similar problems the next time as well.
Thus, using your social media channels is a great way to ensure you are offering remarkable post-sale or pre-sale services to your customers.
10. Showcase Transparency
Social media can be a little pretentious. It has been this way for a long period of time. But now, users are getting tired of the same phoniness spread across different channels. They now want something more authentic. They want to see the reality behind a brand.
You can leverage this curiosity and showcase transparency in front of your customers. This will not only help you stand out in the crowd. But it will also make it easy for others to connect with your brand. After all, we are all humans, whether it’s behind a brand or in the front.
So, let’s suppose you have a coffee brand and you are promoting that on social media.
Now, to showcase transparency, you can share interviews of farmers, show the entire process of how coffee is brought from farms to your customer’s kitchens, and you can also share your brand story of how it came to be.
Showcasing transparency is perhaps among the best ways to gain your customer’s trust.
11. Offer Something Unexpected
Use social media to offer something delightful yet unexpected to your customers. If you are looking to build a relationship with your customer that lasts a long time, you should definitely go that extra mile.
Everyone likes it when others put effort to make them feel happy or excited.
So, you can use your social media accounts to offer solutions or answers to questions that your audience frequently asks. And do this before they can ask.
You can also offer discounts or maybe conduct contests to give away a few products to your lucky customers for free. This will make them feel curious, excited, and also give them a chance to give your products a try.
If they like your products, they will come back for more. Offering something unexpected will help you expand your customer base and, build a loyal following.
Building customer relationships on social media is not as tricky or difficult as many perceive it to be. Yes, it takes effort and time to reach where you wish to be but it all works out for good.
Your goal with social media should be to make your customers aware of your product and build a connection with them in the process. It’s best to not try and sell your products using social media. Social media is where people try to connect with others and not think about ‘making a purchase’ when they open their profiles.
Of course, you can talk about your products, share your brand story, solve queries, and offer valuable knowledge about your product/industry. However, keep it to that.
Social media can be fun and exciting when done right. All you have to do is steer clear of phoniness and embrace transparency.