Whether you like social media or not, it has become an absolute must-have if your business wants to build a truly competitive and innovative marketing strategy. Social media plans are no longer optional for brands, big or small, wanting to grow their market share and compete for their customer’s attention.
While it can still be fairly difficult to measure ROI on your social media marketing, you need to stay focused on what really matters in the world of business: customer experience.
So the question is this: How can you make use of social media to improve the customer experience?
Online Communities and Your Content Marketing Plan
At this year’s F8 Facebook Developer Conference, it was confirmed that Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg aims to transform Facebook into a one-size-fits-all platform so companies and users alike can create complete relationships both online and off (with social care, social shopping, and social conversations). The growth of mobile devices has enabled customers to be connected pretty much wherever they are, rendering the social element of customer experience even more relevant to successful engagement.
Online communities like Twitter and Facebook have become an integral part of how businesses are connected. Word-of-mouth, communicated via social media, has gained immense power, and it’s no coincidence that even the search engines are working to include social content in their results pages. For example, Google+ entries in organic search engine results page (SERP) and the Facebook inclusion of their Knowledge Graph.
Now, let’s get something clear: a content marketing plan is simply incomplete without social networks. They give you the opportunity to gather customer information, build engagement, understand needs and retain loyalty. Most importantly, they let you take complete control of your brand identity so you can increase the likelihood of a good customer experience.
It is for this reason that this year’s studies are showing that most companies will begin increasing their social media marketing spends despite the weakness of ROI calculations. Social relations are now a critical touchpoint in your customer’s journey.
Rather than spending time trying to measure ROI, use social media to improve overall customer experience. Here are four areas where you should concentrate your attention.
1. Customers Engagement
Social networks and blogging platforms have been the main driving force that has brought the Internet to the interactive 2.0 version for business. How? By supporting two-way communication between brands and users.
Right now Facebook remains the most talked about player in the arena. It’s the great platform for noting what your customers want, engaging them in conversation and making them feel they are a part of your brand.
Note: Facebook is used just as an example here. Be sure to focus your social media efforts on the networks your customers and prospects most frequent.
2. Real-Time Response
Customers are empowered – they’re using their smartphones and mobile devices to access useful information so they can make informed purchasing decisions. People expect that brands will respond to their queries and doubts in real time and the point of the engagement when they need information.
Social media is critical to dealing with both positive and negative feedback immediately. Twitter is a great choice for customer service, but mobile messaging apps are becoming a popular alternative.
3. Connect and Personalize
Social media marketing’s number one rule is to stay current. This means evolving with your customer’s tastes and constantly looking for new channels to connect with them. Not every social media platform will work for your specific business. So select communities carefully to avoid wasting time and money on irrelevant networks. Whichever you have chosen, be sure always to offer relevant, consistent and fresh content. In the era of personalized customer experience, you need to be able to custom-cut contents for both the platform and the audience.
4. Boost Customer Retention
How do you keep your customers interested? Social networks are designed for creating engagement and promoting loyalty. By involving your customers in a compelling digital experience, you are lessening the chance they will seek your product or service from someone else.
How can you improve customer retention using social media?
With webinars, visual contrasts, trending hashtags, live-chat, gamification dynamics and generated content. The content and engagement choices are numerous and growing.
Positive customer experience will lead to improved retention and greater loyalty and in turn that leads to repeat sales. Social media places an increasingly important role in the experience.
Don’t Know Where to Start?
Don’t worry! At Valens Point, we have helped many businesses create customer experiences that include the use of social media. Let us help you delight customers so you can start reaping the benefits of rich customer experience through social engagement.