Creating the right customer experience is vital for every company using social media, both for existing customers and potential customers. In 2012, 77% of B2C companies and 43% of B2B companies used Facebook to acquire new customers. You need to make sure that your social media strategies engage and retain your existing customers, as well as attracting fans and converting them into new customers.
Thankfully, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter spend a lot of time getting the aesthetics of their pages just right. They provide companies with great tools to set up pages, profiles and communities, making themselves distinct from the competition and attractive to the right audience. However, you still need to perfect the right strategy in order to retain and gain new customers.
Know your Audience
If you want to create a great customer experience on social media you need to know all about your audience. You need to post content that will interest and attract the right people on social media – people who can be converted into customers.
Of course, you can’t forget about your existing customers either. Encourage your existing customers to follow you on social media sites. Put follow widgets on your website and put your social media handles in obvious places on your sales copy. If you have an email database, let your customers know about your social media sites by email.
Lots of companies use Twitter as a customer service tool, responding to customer queries and complaints with tweets and direct messages.
You can use other social media sites to connect with your customers as well or, even better, provide a place where they can connect with each other. Create a Page/Group/Community so that you fans can discuss your company: a place where you can get involved yourself, engaging your fans with interesting content and questions.
Perfect your Pages
Make sure you post compelling, diverse, quality content on your pages. Don’t post too regularly but make sure you post frequently enough. Work out what your fans and followers like and work out a posting strategy which takes advantage of this. Make sure that you promote your products enough, but not all the time: fans don’t like being inundated with advertising, they want to see content that is of use to them.
Make sure that your profile images and descriptions are eye-catching, interesting and, most importantly, grammatically correct. Check all the spelling in your posts and tweets and only post images that fit within each social media sites’ image parameters. The content on your pages needs to be both professional and attention grabbing.
Respond to all the comments on your pages and retweets your messages get on Twitter. Be active and polite: you customers will appreciate it if you acknowledge them quickly and consistently. Analyse the sentiment of comments about your company online: if someone is negative about your brand you need to act quickly so that your reputation isn’t damaged.
Reward your Fans
Reward your fans and followers with exclusive content. Post information about new products and behind the scenes footage where only your fans can see it. Send out a new product to you Twitter followers before you send it anywhere else, or invite them to your headquarters to try it out for themselves. You could even give them discounts and vouchers for your products.
Find customers who are willing to be your social media brand advocates and provide them with a platform from which they can promote your products. Reward these influential people with discounts and products or, if they’re very good at what they do, a marketing job. Publicise the fact that you reward your fans and advocates: other people may be willing to follow you and promote your brand in the future if there is an extra incentive.