Social media offers businesses exciting new opportunities to engage with their customers as never before. However, it is important to know how to engage with your customers in order to get the most benefit. Not all social media posts are created equal, so it is essential to know the right way to engage with your customers on social media to avoid making costly or embarrassing mistakes.
Here are some tips for using social media to engage with your customers:
- Properly Utilize Hashtags. Although most people used to associate this symbol with Twitter, the hashtag (#) symbol is now in use on most social media networks. You can use hashtags to join current conversations or trends, or you can create a hashtag for your brand that you use in various social media marketing channels. It is important not to overdo the use of hashtags, which can be annoying and end up costing you followers or fans. Another benefit of using hashtags is that it will allow you to monitor what is being said in relation to your brand or marketing campaign.
- Think About Timing. When you post on social media can make a big difference in terms of how much engagement you see from fans or followers. For example, Twitter finds that tweets published during the daytime tend to get double the engagement rates of those published at night, while tweets published on the weekends tend to get more engagement than those published during the week. However, depending on the nature of your business and the location of your customer base, you may want to consider posting throughout the day if you have customers in different time zones.
- Decide on Your Frequency. It is important to set up a cadence for your social media posts so that your customers know roughly when to expect updates. The last thing you want to do is ignore your social media accounts for a long period of time and then proceed to blast your followers or fans with a long stream of tweets or status updates. That kind of behavior is a sure way to lose followers because while your Facebook fans might not see all of them, your Twitter followers will. You may also want to time your posts or tweets to correspond to a few minutes before or after the hour in order to catch people in between tasks at work.
- Create Quality Content. If you want more traffic to your website from social media networks, the key is to update your website or blog with shareable content. If you are posting content that is valuable, entertaining, or informative on your website and then sharing it on social media, people will be more likely to share it with their friends or followers, which will increase traffic to your website.
- Monitor Online Mentions. In order to really be able to properly engage with your customers, you need to know what is being said about your business. Google Alerts is a free service that you can sign up for that will notify you when your business is mentioned online. This can be really helpful for catching things like bad reviews. However, it does not tend to delve deeply into social media, which is the primary area where you want to engage with customers. Other services like Mention, for example, will alert you to what is being said about your brand on social media. This can be an excellent customer service opportunity for your business. For example, if a customer complains on Twitter or another social media site about your company, you can respond to them and offer to fix the problem. Not only does this appease the disgruntled customer, but also makes a good impression on a wider audience that your business strives to make it right when something goes wrong.
- Remember The Type of Post Matters. Asking questions in your social media posts is a great way to increase engagement with your customers. It is human nature to respond to a question, particularly if you have a ready answer to the query. For example, if you operate a travel agency, you could ask your fans where they would go for their dream vacation. Related to that, businesses can also use social media posts as an opportunity to answer questions they may have received. Promoting a customer’s update is also a great way for a business to get increased recognition and build positive feelings.
Businesses can no longer afford to ignore social media, in part because it is where marketing and customer service noticeably intersect. Without a doubt, engaging with your customers through social media can build your brand’s reputation and increase customer loyalty.