Relationships are the foundation of business. And while attracting new clients is important for growth, retaining your existing customers and continuously selling to them should be a major focus of your marketing plan. Data show that it costs six to seven times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing customer. And it’s easier to sell to an existing customer too, with the probability of selling to an existing customer up to 14 times higher than the probability of selling to a new customer.
One of the best ways to engage with and retain existing customers is through social media marketing. Mike Templeman in Forbes summed it up in a nutshell: “When you know how to do it the right way, meaningful connections can be made through multiple social media platforms.”
What’s the best way for you to successfully form relationships and create a sense of community via social media marketing on social channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram, as well as website blogs? Here’s what the experts do:
Make sure your content marketing strategy encompasses critical social marketing action items such as developing original, useful content that encourages conversation; using social platforms to connect through shared interests; and dedicating time to respond quickly to comments and questions that result from that content.
Create Useful Content.
If you are the marketing or communications lead at your company, no one knows your customers like you do. Put that knowledge to work by publishing original and useful content on your social channels. Social platforms are excellent places for content that answers questions or solves problems that your clients have. And feel confident about suggesting products and services that align with that content – just don’t make every post a sales pitch. Worried that your social strategy may be too much of a promotional pitch? Take this quick quiz to find out.
Be Visible on Platforms Visible to Your Clients.
Your customers expect to find you on social media. Don’t disappoint them! Search to find where your customers are active and making comments about you and your business. Then establish and maintain active profiles on those channels. Promote your social media profiles on your website and in communications with customers. You can find a list of the top 15 social media sites from Statista. Still not sure which channels to focus on? Check out what channels your biggest competitors are using.
Connect Through Shared Interests.
All the content you post doesn’t need to be about solving problems or answering questions from your customers. Social channels are perfect venues for people to connect through shared interests. And when you connect this way, you can retain existing clients to a greater degree.
Use your social media platforms to:
You’ll find that when you engage your audience in causes they are already interested in, you more effectively humanize your brand and develop community.
ENGAGE AND RESPOND
Your social media strategy shouldn’t be all about getting something published. Instead, the content you publish should be crafted in such a way as to encourage response. How do you get people to respond? It’s like any person-to-person conversation: Ask for action. For example:
No matter the social channels you choose to use to engage with your customers, responding promptly is critical. You need someone or a team of people to monitor all your social channels and respond quickly to inquiries or comments.
In addition, be sure those of your staff who are responsible for responding understand the importance of quality responses. People who comment look for acknowledgement, so never go the route of a canned response. Use the name of the person who comments and bring new content to the conversation, like a link or a video. Responding promptly to customer stories, ideas or complaints deepens relationships. This is the human side of social media and the foundation for creating community.
Social platforms are an important part of your marketing strategy, allowing you to establish and maintain relationships with community members. The key to success in using social media as part of your content marketing strategy is to make sure those communications are authentic and relevant. When your blogs, posts and videos meet that criteria, you’ll see a jump in engagement through likes, shares and comments. That kind of relationship-building will improve your marketing effectiveness and increase leads and sales conversions.
Need help taking a proactive approach to social media marketing? We have the team to deliver engaging content and effective social media campaigns. Send us an email to let us know when to contact you for a quick chat.