How to Use Social Media to Drive Small Business Loyalty
Customer loyalty is one of the most important aspects of any business, regardless of whether it is large or small. An industry statistic that is regularly referred to in the world of SEO and online marketing, is that it is up to five times more profitable for any business to cash out money on keeping their best customers happy, then it is to acquire new ones. Small businesses understand this equation most of all. They need to understand how their customers quickly shift their social actions and conversations into the online world.
Soaring adoption of social media is creating an important dynamic within the online marketplace, by changing the power given to a customer. A loyal customer doesn’t have to be represented by occasional referrals or repeat purchases – customers can now express how they feel about a service or product to thousands of people at the same time. So how can you use this to your advantage?
1. Listen to your Market
No business can truly figure out what is going to work best at engaging their customers, especially their best customers, unless they know what it is those customers care about. Blogs, review sites, and other social channels are a valuable resource when it comes to obtaining this priceless information. Customers now have a great platform to inform businesses of exactly what they need to do to succeed, but first the business has to be ready to listen. Remember to consider:
- Relevant posts
- Competitor posts
Effectively monitoring the discussion going on in your industry means that you will need to search the online landscape for important dialogue – and this can be a time-consuming matter. However, there are products online which can help, if you know where to start looking.
2. Be Social
Once you have gotten comfortable with the idea of observing your customers and understanding what they’re saying online, you’ll need to start dipping your toes into the realm of social media yourself. Whether you like it or not, the truth is that small businesses will benefit most from getting involved with the same social media sites that their customers frequently use. Fortunately, going social doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. In fact, by opening a twitter page, Facebook account, or LinkedIn presence, you could find that you actually have a lot of fun.
3. Engage Your Customers
Finally, it’s essential to make sure that you are active in communicating with your customers. This means that you need to take the time to respond to bad reviews when they happen, or thank customers for good testimonials. This should be a great opportunity for you to engage the best customers you have by getting them to do more online.
You could come up with schemes, such as rewarding people for a certain number of referrals, or sending out pieces of information that they could broadcast about upcoming discounts, sales, and new items.
Of course, communicating with customers can sometimes be difficult in regards to the limited resources and time a small business has. Many of these businesses will find that properly dealing with their audience may require some trial and error.