Social media is a virtual reality platform and it follows the same ‘friendship rules’ as reality. People don’t want to listen to companies bragging about their products and services all the time, but they expect it to be a mutual communication – there have to be talking and listening. In other words, would you be friends with someone who is obsessed with himself and never listen? The same system works for organisations.
How to turn your social media followers into loyal customers?
Implement these strategies and believe me, it will pay off!
1. Listen to what customers are saying about your organisation and react fast.
Customers are your organisation’s ambassadors, therefore it is crucial to tracks all organisation’s social media @mentions (use free tools such as Social Mention, Google Alerts). When you know what people are saying about your organisation and industry, make sure you provide them with fast answers to their questions as well as with information they would be looking forward to receive.
2. Engage with your customers.
People don’t just visit social media for the same reason as they would do if they were going to the library. Social media is huge, constant virtual networking and discussion event and organisations have to make it happen. Create conversations, surveys and give your customers a feeling that you care about their opinions, and you know what they say – “caring is sharing”, it spreads the word about the organisation.
3. Always personalise your social media communications.
Despite of how many friends a person has, each one of them want to feel special and it is not different in organisation communication with customers. Do not ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ your answers from an organisation’s website, because most of the people ask questions only if they have not been able to find an answer already. If you are providing the same information that can be found on organisation’s website, most likely people’s reaction will be – “I knew that, but can you answer MY question, please?” Instead train your employees to understand individual customer needs and provide your customers with relevant, personalised information.
4. Shape your social media communication tone.
Organisation’s brand image depends on all communication channels, including social media. It is very important for organisations to decide how they want to be seen by customers. Organisation can’t be a joker one day and serious the next. Just as important as setting a tone (if not even more) is to provide employees with required communication skill training to make sure they know how to follow communication tone.
5. Know how to handle complaints and make customers happy.
People or organisations, everyone makes mistakes once in a while, but what matters is how we can make it all good again. Organisation mistakes are received in complaint form and social media makes them all transparent. With certain complaint handling skills set and with excellent problem solving strategy organisations can not only fix their mistakes, but even make the customers to spread the good word around.
People spend more and more time on social media and organisations have to be prepared to assist their customers in the best service excellence manner. It is probably the biggest service delivery channel, don’t ignore it, but turn your social media followers into loyal customers.