It's a given in the business world that it costs ten times as much to earn a new customer than it does to retain one. That's why fostering brand loyalty is so critical. Fortunately, any business can leverage the power of social media to nurture band loyalty in any industry. Here are six tips to make that happen.
1. Pick the right platform for the job
Just because a particular social media platform has a lot of users doesn't mean that it's a good fit for a company's marketing campaigns. For instance, IBM or Oracle wouldn't use Instagram to improve brand loyalty. Focus your efforts on social media sites that your target customer demographics are most likely to patronize regularly.
2. Communicate With a recognizable voice
Nothing confuses die-hard fans and potential customers alike more than an inconsistent message from a brand. When you use social media to communicate with customers, maintaining a consistent tone and personality online is a crucial concern. Whether you prefer a casual vernacular or a more professional tone, it's important to pick a social media voice and stick with it.
3. Let customers create your content
Nothing solidifies your brand's reputation on social media like honest testimonials from real customers. As such, eliciting quality feedback from satisfied clients is a great way to give your brand's reputation a boost. Ask your customers to leave reviews on Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, and the like. Going out of your way to procure and highlight comments from customers that paint your brand in a positive light is a must.
4. Interact directly with followers
Simply sending out impersonal messages to followers via social media channels isn't a particularly effective way to improve brand loyalty. Interacting with fans or followers on a one-on-one basis is far more effective. Replying to comments, retweeting, tagging photos, or having a customer feature are all ways you can interact. Potential customers can see your interactions in real time or after the fact and gain a deeper appreciation of your commitment to serving clients.
5. Conduct unique and memorable promotions
While promotions are typically used to attract new clients, they can also be quite effective at reinforcing brand loyalty. For example, you could run a promotion based on rewarding participants that suggest the best ways to use your products or services. Be sure to avoid hackneyed ideas that have been done a thousand times before by competing brands. Show off your unique personality and brand in your promotions, and invite your followers to join the club.
6. Quickly address unfavorable press
One of the easiest ways to build brand loyalty via social media is owning up to your failures. When your business makes a bad call, it's vital that you get in front of bad press before the competition can make hay with it. Your followers will respect you more for taking responsibility for your missteps and rectifying the situation.
Remember: Brand loyalty doesn't happen overnight
For the most part, it's unrealistic to expect immediate results from your social media efforts when it comes to building brand loyalty. The truth is that it'll probably take months to see any serious returns on your investments. Don’t lose steam, and keep your social media up to date and engaging. Ultimately, persistence on the part of your company will be the key to a favorable outcome.