Customer relationships are at the heart of every business, and in the digital age, these relationships are increasingly being forged and maintained online.
To build strong customer relationships on social media, companies need to focus on creating content that is not only relevant and interesting to their target audience but also engaging and interactive.
As such, a proven plan to help you achieve your customer relationship goals is essential to success on social media.
In this article, we’ll give you the best tips on building customer relationships on social media, explain how to measure your success, and provide some examples of solid customer relationships in action.
The importance of customer relationships
If there is one thing in business that can never be understated, it’s the importance of customer relationships.
In the most basic sense, customer relationships are the interactions between a business and its customers.
The goal of customer relationships is to create a connection between the customer and the business based on trust and loyalty.
With as many as 90% of all customers considering their concerns being addressed as the most important factor in customer service, customer relationships can lead to increased sales, higher customer satisfaction, and stronger brand loyalty when done correctly.
In the digital age, social media has become one of the most critical channels for businesses to focus on when it comes to building customer relationships, giving such businesses a unique opportunity to connect with their customers more personally and informally.
How To Build Customer Relationships On Social Media
Let’s now look at some specific tips on building customer relationships on social media.
1. Be responsive to your customers
One of the most important things to remember when building customer relationships on social media is to be responsive to your customers.
This means that you should always take the time to reply to comments, questions, and concerns that your customers post. You can further get weekly social media reports to analyze the statistics and work for improvements on your behalf.
Doing this will show your customers that you care about their experience with your brand and that you are willing to take the time to address their concerns.
In addition, being responsive to your customers will also help to build trust and loyalty over time.
While a bit less than half the customers with concerns expect a reply within 24 hours, being on the ball when it comes to getting back to the people that matter is key.
2. Create valuable content
While the specifics will depend on your business and industry, you should always aim to create valuable content for your target audience.
This could be anything from helpful blog posts and infographics to engaging videos and e-books. Using email marketing software to run a drip campaign that delivers your highest-value content is also a good idea to consider.
The goal is to provide your customers with content that they will find helpful and actually use in their lives.
Not only will this help to build customer relationships, but it will also help you to increase brand awareness and grow your social media following over time.
Using customer-centric copywriting to produce your content is a great way to ensure that it resonates with your audience. This could mean using first-person pronouns such as “I” and “we,” featuring customer testimonials on your site, or even asking your customers for their opinions on specific topics.
Just don’t forget to backup the content you’ve already made.
3. Encourage user-generated content
There are not many better ways to show that you care about your customers than to feature their content on your social media channels.
User-generated content (UGC) is any content your customers have created and includes photos, videos, and reviews.
4. Run social media contests and giveaways
Building upon the previous point, one way to encourage your customers to create UGC could be to run competitions or giveaways. Giveaways could include anything from free products or services to discounts or coupons.
Make sure to promote your contest or giveaway across all your social media channels and make it easy for customers to enter — no one wants to jump through multiple hoops to potentially win something.
Also, ensure that when it comes time to pick a winner, this is done entirely randomly. Many people are suspicious of social media contests, so it’s essential to be as transparent as possible.
5. Make it easy to connect with you
Staying connected with your potential customers is a two-way street.
You should make it easy for your customers to connect with you on social media, but you should also be proactive in connecting with them.
A great way to do this is to add social media buttons to your website and blog so visitors can easily follow you on their preferred platforms.
You could also consider running targeted ads on social media that cater to paid customers or use social media monitoring tools to find potential customers to whom you can reach out.
6. Tell your brand’s story
Knowing how it started and where you want to take your brand in the future is key to every successful business.
Telling your brand’s story is a great way to connect with your customers on a more personal level, and it can also help you to stand out from the competition. You can do this through logo animation, specific brand colors, and other methods.
Your brand’s story should be authentic and consistent across all your marketing channels, including social media.
You could consider creating a video or blog post series that tells your brand’s story or even using social media to share behind-the-scenes content with your followers.
Chatbots can also leverage storytelling in a way that is interactive and engaging. For example, you could create a chatbot that takes your customers on a journey through your brand’s history, highlighting the key moments that have led you to where you are today.
7. Show some personality
Being polarizing can be a good thing when it comes to social media.
Standing out is half the battle in a sea of generic and boring content.
One way to do this is by injecting some personality into your social media presence. Using humor, being controversial, or just being yourself are all great ways to get started.
Of course, you must ensure that your content is still relevant to your brand and that it aligns with your overall marketing strategy. But don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through on social media!
8. Be a thought leader
Building relationships and growing your customer base is not only about selling your products or services.
It’s also about being a thought leader in your industry and providing value to your customers.
You can do this through various channels that showcase your expertise, such as blog posts, infographics, or even video content.
You could also consider starting a podcast or webinar series where you interview experts in your industry or hold panel discussions on hot topics.
No matter what format you choose, ensure your content is high quality and provides value to your audience.
You can hire dedicated social media managers to create and maintain a positive public image of your business. This could be for different social media platforms. They should have excellent communication skills and experience in developing highly successful social media marketing strategies.
9. Build a community
What better way to build long-term customer relationships than using social media platforms to create a community of customers and followers interacting with each other?
Of course, you need to be the one to seed the community and get it started. But once you have a few key members, they can help grow the community organically — and many would be happy to do it.
There are a few ways to do this. One easy way would be to create a private Facebook group for your most loyal customers or start an online forum where people can discuss topics related to your industry.
This community can also be taken offline through events or meetups.
No matter what form it takes, building a community of customers and followers can help foster long-term relationships and turn one-time buyers into lifelong fans.
If you own a blog, another great way to build a loyal community of fans would be by having an engaging newsletter. CollectingCents does this by including freebies for website visitors that opt-in to their newsletter. The freebies are connected to their niche of personal finance, passive income ideas, and working remotely.
10. Strong customer relationships in action
While the above might paint a picture of positivity and customers that love your brand unconditionally, the reality is that there will always be dissatisfied customers.
Knowing how to deal with negative feedback and complaints is essential to turning a negative experience into a positive one.
The key is to respond quickly and efficiently to any complaints or negative comments and to do so in a way that is respectful and professional.
This doesn’t mean you must agree with the customer or try to appease them at all costs. But it would help if you always took the time to listen to their concerns and try to resolve the issue in a way that is satisfactory for both parties.
Let’s consider a more specific example.
Imagine you own a fashion brand and a customer has posted a negative review of one of your products on social media, saying that it fell apart after just a few wears.
The first thing you should do is reach out to the customer privately and apologize for their experience.
Then, offer to send them a replacement product or give them a refund.
You could also offer them a discount on their next purchase as an incentive to continue doing business with you.
Finally, ask them what you could do better in the future to prevent this from happening again.
Another example could be of a customer who is unhappy with the customer service they received.
In this case, you would again reach out to the customer privately and apologize for their experience.
Then, offer to make it right by doing whatever it takes to resolve the issue.
This could involve giving them a refund, a discount, or anything else that’s feasible from your side.
The key is to make sure that the customer feels heard and that their concerns are being taken seriously.
Taking the time to go through the right steps can turn a negative experience into a positive one and build stronger relationships with your customers.
11. How to measure the success of your customer relationships
Defining what successful customer relationships are is the first step.
Consistently measuring these actions is the next one and as such, there are various ways to measure the success of your customer relationships.It’s like keeping an eye on startup success rates and trying to raise your bar.
One way is to track customer engagement metrics, such as the number of comments, shares, and likes on your social media posts.
You could also track how often customers interact with your brand on social media, such as how often they mention or tag you in a post.
Another way to measure the success of your customer relationships is to track customer satisfaction levels with CSAT Surveys.
You can do this by conducting surveys or using a tool like Net Promoter Score (NPS).
NPS is a metric that measures how likely customers would recommend your brand to others.
It’s an excellent way to gauge how satisfied customers are with their experience and can be a helpful tool for measuring the success of your customer relationships.
You could also track customer retention rates, the percentage of customers who continue to do business with you over time.
This metric can help measure the long-term success of your customer relationships.
Building strong customer relationships is essential for any business.
It’s essential to find ways to build rapport with customers and followers so that you can create long-lasting relationships.
Since social media has created new opportunities for building customer relationships, using this channel to interact with customers can create a two-way dialogue to help you understand their needs and build trust.
Also, staying on top of your tracking will allow you to see what’s working and what needs improvement.
Using the tips in this guide, you can build strong customer relationships that will benefit your business for years to come.