A business cannot thrive without customers. This is why it is not only important to keep your customers happy, but to engage with them to gauge the success of your product or service. Unhappy customers are less likely to refer your services or return to offer their business.
Social media has put a new spin on customer engagement — individuals can now comment, like or unfollow a service or brand. By asking questions and remaining curious as to what your customers’ needs are you can do your best job to cater to them and thus bring in continuous businesses and referrals. Additionally, engaging with clients on social media is the best way to find new clients. All that said, it’s definitely worth engaging with your customers, and here are a few successful ways you can do it.
1. Ask and You Shall Receive
Use your social media accounts wisely. This means not only taking charge of your company’s image but engaging with your customers and encouraging them to engage with your business. Most of the time, you’ll find all the answers you need to improve or preserve the quality of your product or service from your very own customers. To learn more about one particular bulletproof way to engage with your customers online, visit 6 Ways to Use Instagram Stories.
For example, if you own a beauty salon, ask your clients if you can take before and after images and post them on your social media accounts. If permitted, be sure to tag the client; by tagging the client, potential customers see real people behind your brand while simultaneously seeing your craft. Encourage your clients to repost the image for pure pleasure or offer them an incentive such as a giveaway.
2. Speaking of Giveaways…
Host a giveaway! This is a really creative, interactive way to get your customers excited about doing business with you and interacting with you on social media. Whether you have products or services to sell, there’s always something to giveaway — perhaps a 20-minute consultation, a small gift bag or a complimentary bottle of wine or dinner. Get creative! Encourage your customers to like, re-tweet, re-post and tag others under your giveaway posts, which will allow your social accounts to grow in visibility. Before you host an Instagram promotion it is important to acknowledge that the promotion isn’t sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram.
Detailed below are two examples of simple social media giveaway ideas.
Photo contest: This one is especially fitting for businesses who have products to sell. For example, host a photo contest in which users post a photo of themselves using the product, or the product on its own, and have them tag your brand for a chance to win a full-sized product or set.
Tags: Have your followers tag a friend on your specific social posts and re-post the image for the opportunity to win. This will help your social media account garner new followers and it will get your brand’s image out to the public.
3. Answers Needed
Respond to all of your online reviews. As you grow, this will become increasingly overwhelming, but having some sort of managerial customer service presence online will be beneficial to your business. Customers like to know their opinion matters and that they are being heard. Even if it’s an unfavorable comment or review, answer their request diplomatically and thank them for taking the time to leave a review, whether on Google, Yelp, Facebook or any other outlet. Of course, there will ideally be loads of positive comments and reviews. However, in case there are some negative ones, here are some examples of customizable responses you can give to negative reviews:
“Dear Name, I’m sorry to hear about your unfortunate experience. We truly appreciate your feedback and would love the opportunity to amend your distaste. Please allow us to offer you a complimentary dinner upon your to our restaurant.”
“Dear Name, I’m sorry to hear about your experience. We take your comment very seriously. Please allow us to compensate you for any inconvenience you may have experienced”
4. Host an Event
Whether you’re celebrating the anniversary of your business or would like to show off a new skill or product, events are a great way to get lots of people into one place at once. If you have an exciting product to launch, invite your customers for a product tour in which you dedicate time to walking the audience through some of the benefits and how-to’s of that specific product and, most importantly, how that product can help the customer. If you’re celebrating a milestone or business anniversary, host a small get together to simply let your customers know you appreciate their business. Be sure to include music, cocktails and some light bites — usually, once these are in place, the rest will take care of itself.
5. Start a YouTube channel
Boasting one million active users monthly — that’s one out of every two people on the internet — YouTube is one of the top websites for user engagement. YouTube is especially beneficial for business owners who have a service to provide and want to gain more likes. Invest in a video camera and brainstorm creative ideas to promote your service.
For example, if you own a beauty salon, show off difficult techniques on camera; if you have a team of consultants, tape a ‘getting to know our staff’ video where each person shares a most valuable piece of advice for the potential customer; if you own a car repair company, share tips on how to care for your car to prevent issues or to predict them before they happen.
Whatsoever your business may be, be sure to offer valuable advice to your viewers and potential customer. When thinking about posting anything on social media, always be sure to keep the client in mind. Ask: how will this benefit the client? What needs is this post fulfilling for them?
There are plenty more ways to engage with customers that are not limited to social media or the internet. Alas, you can also ask them in person how they feel about your product or service or ask them to fill out a questionnaire after their experience — old school ways never go out of style.