Social media may have started as a way for friends to connect online, then a broadcasting channel, and is now a place for brands to provide personalised, human experiences with their audience and consumers. Nowadays, social media is as much about engagement with other people as it is about sharing content.
1. People expect businesses to respond on social media, and fast
Twitter and Facebook have become the first places people go to for customer support, product enquiries or just to say thank you to businesses.
Back in 2013 it was estimated that 67% of consumers use Facebook and Twitter for customer service. With the rise of Facebook Messenger usage, that number is likely to have trended upwards as over 8 billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses on Messenger alone each month.
The speed at which business respond is also important. According to research commissioned by Twitter in 2016, 71% of their users expect a response within an hour.
2. Social Media Engagement increases loyalty and generates word of mouth
People love positive interactions with brands on social media. Here’s just one example from one of the UK’s largest supermarkets, Sainsbury’s. They’ve got a pretty active Twitter feed with lots of customer questions about products and sale prices, including this interaction which was not a marketing play but a real conversation between the company and a customer.
There’s also a ton of data that suggests that answering complaints on social media increases customer advocacy and reduces churn. For example, Jay Baer’s researchfound that answering a complaint on social media can increase customer advocacy by as much 25%.
3. You can learn directly from customers and prospects
Social media allows us to directly learn from our customers and community about how we can improve their experiences.
4. Reposting customer or follower posts
Not only should you share content from different businesses in the industry, it’s important you share your followers and customers posts too. Particularly for those brands who are well established, getting your tweet about how you love Thorntons chocolate shared by Thornton’s themselves can be an exciting moment for that chocolate lover!
In addition to making the customer feel great about themselves for being worthy to go on your business feed, it can lead to them sharing your reply to them or even screenshotting the evidence of you favouriting or sharing their content.
5. Using Influencers to share content
Assuming you have established relationships with influencers in the market such as bloggers and social media influencers, it is great to utilise these relationships to get your content shared.
Asking well-known individuals in your area of expertise to promote your posts in return for a discount or freebie is good for getting your brand seen by your prospective customers through a trusted, familiar face. Offering something in return for the shares helps to ensure the influencer feels like they are getting value from collaborating with you. It’s a win-win situation!
6. Create Polls & Surveys
Another good practice for creating engaging social media posts is through the use of polls and surveys. Social media polls and surveys are super simple for obtaining that needed customer feedback quickly.
The data obtained from polls and surveys are great for future marketing material. Airbnb created a poll to learn what it is customer’s see as a need for their short breaks and escapes. The results show that users prefer mountain views the most with outdoor hot tubs coming in a close second.
From this information, Airbnb can tailor their future holiday deals around properties that include these features to try and improve conversions and sales. Although this particular poll is pretty brief and generic which makes it seem targeted to get customers interacting with the brand by voting, rather than to really try and obtain useful data for future marketing campaigns. If you can use your poll to do both at the same time, even better!