Depending on your market, investing in social media for business is almost always a smart spend. Customers are increasingly seeking products and services through online platforms, meaning reaching them through traditional avenues is not as effective as it once was. In fact, learning how to market your business on social media may prepare you for the “new" traditional medium of an emerging generation of consumers. And how you represent your brand online can deeply affect customer loyalty. It's no surprise that business development depends heavily on your connection with your customer.
If you tell your story authentically and meet them where they are, your business can create a seamless experience that resonates online, in person and everywhere in between. How?
1. Tell your brand story.
Don't shy away from letting the human aspect of your brand take center stage. You'll want to ensure that the person you hire to manage content has a strong sense of the voice and tone of your brand so they can communicate in a way that speaks meaningfully to your target market.
Highlighting your customers' viewpoints can be a moving and effective way to let them know you see and value them. Your business development depends on their buy in—and in a market oversaturated with gimmicky marketing and short-term engagement, telling an honest and authentic story can set your brand apart.
Reward existing (and potential) customers for following your brand by creating fun and engaging campaigns.
I run a woman-focused branding and marketing agency that helps businesses connect with the women in their market. Our goal is to humanize women, and we do so by telling their stories on social media.
Our content calendar is designed to explore topics of deep relevance to women that may not always receive attention: motherhood and race, bias in tech, women who are childless by choice, the impact of intersectionality on a woman's life journey. Then we showcase the data that supports why these stories are so crucial for marketing and advertisers to understand when creating products and services that resonate.
Telling your brand story and sharing the meaningful experiences of your customers gives people a sense of who you are and in turn, can help increase customer loyalty.
2. Stay top of mind.
Social media does not keep standard work hours. The beauty of using social media as a business development tool is that you are able to meet people where they are—at home after work while casually scrolling through their feed or even during downtime in the middle of their day.
If you cultivate an active online presence and create appealing content, people can interact with your brand when they want to, both on and off hours. In a competitive market, it is important to stay top of mind.
Part of developing social media for business is paying attention to feedback and data to ensure you are connecting with customers effectively. You can track engagement using analytic tools to make sure your content reaches your customers.
You may also consider using automated posting tools to stay top of mind. Batching and scheduling content through an automated system is an intuitive way to streamline the process for your team without losing the personal, human voice of your brand. Some automation tools can also help you align with the social media platform's algorithm, so your brand connects with your customers at optimal times.
3. Increase brand awareness.
Brand awareness is essential to generating customer loyalty. Your audience needs to know who you are.
One business development strategy is to integrate customer loyalty programs into your social media content. Reward existing (and potential) customers for following your brand by creating fun and engaging campaigns. These campaigns often encourage your social media followers to share or tag others who may be interested in your brand's products or services by offering something appealing in exchange. This helps increase brand awareness while also providing something meaningful to your followers and potential customers.
4. Find your people.
Customer loyalty is not based on the quantity of followers you gain, but the quality. It doesn't hurt to gain visibility with a large group, but ultimately, your social media accounts should attract your target audience—the people you want to engage with your product and/or services. When you take the time to develop an honest voice, the people who most resonate with your messaging will find you.
Building an authentic following takes time. Old marketing principles about the number of times your business needs to make contact with a prospect before they become a customer do not always apply in this new medium. People can make contact with many brands many times over the course of a single day.
The key is standing out to the people you want to engage—honing in on creative and authentic ways to market your business on social media is key to customer loyalty. Thoughtful content strategy is the best way to find your people.
Using social media to build customer loyalty requires planning. Lay the framework for business development by:
- promoting your brand by telling your story,
- resonating with the people in your market,
- giving your followers something of real value (education, experiences, products, etc.),
- become a trusted voice in the community you build online.
Then you'll be able to get your customers to like, share and speak for your brand on social media and offline.
Read more articles on social media strategy.
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