Social media has created a whole new avenue for finding customers, retaining and serving them, and building continuous relationships that create loyalty to your brand and business. That said, there is a whole art to the process of using the many modern social media networks as tools for developing and cultivating a loyal following of clients or fans that love both you and your brand. Let’s go over a few of the key steps now.
1. Be Accessible
Your social media pages allow you as a business owner to maintain direct personalized contact with your fans and customers on a 24 hour basis. Don’t fail to take advantage of this by not responding to their questions, comments and complaints. The main point of social media self promotion is being able to do just these things and show your customers that you care about their personal concerns. If they see that you so, they will develop more loyalty to your business. The friendlier and more frequent your interaction with your customers is, the stronger their brand loyalty will be.
2. Engage your Fans Personally
If you’ve started to build a specific relationship with certain fans in your social media friends lists or feeds, engage them personally from time to time with a comment, mention or encouragement to share their opinion in some way. This will show not only those fans but also all of your other social followers that you don’t just view them as nameless quantities in a race to have as many as possible but as individual people whose interest in your business also creates an interest in them from your part.
3. Tell a Story, Don’t Just Advertise
Your internet advertising, PPC campaigns and physical media advertising are for promoting youself in the classical sense. Social media is different. Of course you should also be promoting your business, but its main purpose is to create a certain narrative around your business and this means laying off the obvious advertising from time to time and crafting entertaining stories, anecdotes and personal interest submissions about your company’s interests, industry processes or whatever else can create a certain distinct familiarity with your business amongst your followers.
4. Build Rapport through Photos
This tip applies particularly well to social media platforms like Facebook and Google+. If you’re posting frequent photos, particularly funny or amusing photos, of company events, promotional parties and other activities both you and your business staff are engaged in, it also creates a certain human identity with which your fans can identify and to which it will be much easier for them to feel loyalty.
5. Demonstrate your Niche Relevant Expertise
As the business owner, you’re supposed to be the expert in your field and you need to demonstrate this daily to your followers. Interacting with them and answering to their feedback is great but you also need to know your niche well enough to actually help them out with their questions. Use your social media accounts to give helpful tips and advice to your fans whenever they ask for them or have any doubts and even go as far as to offer helpful pointers on subjects that are related to your business but not directly in the same field.
It’s important that you never fail to answer product or service related doubts from any client due to a lack of knowledge, find out what you need to know and make sure your followers are always at least given some sort of partially helpful response.
6. Turn your Social Media Pages into Resource Centers
Imagine that you’re in the business of selling digital security software and other related apps. Given this niche –if you really want to make your social media pages something that keeps attracting and retaining follower loyalty, you should build up and constantly update a large volume of published articles or posts on everything to do with digital security, troubleshooting, tips, tricks and discount deals from your own business, blog and from other places on the web. If the content you’re posting is genuinely useful, informative and frequently refreshed with new material, you will absolutely retain a lot of followers who are interested in your niche and grow to trust you for your informed opinions and useful resources.
7. Never Lose your Cool
Invariably, you’re going to deal with a lot of stress, hassle, downright stupid fan questions and quite a bit of harassment from disgruntled customers or people who simply enjoy throwing around rude insults and comments. This can all easily boil over in your mind and cause you to want to explode; especially if your business is big and it’s social media pages have to manage a lot of customers. What’s important is that you never, ever do. As a professional business owner it’s your job to always stay calm and react to even the worst insults and stupidities coolly.
This doesn’t mean you can’t dismiss insulting comments with sharp responses or ignore complete idiocy in some customers. However what you do has to always be calm and adult in its tone. Never match rude insults for rude insults or mudslinging with more of the same. The rest of your customers will respect you for your calm, dignified and business oriented behavior.
Steven Taylor has been writing about technology and business solutions for nearly a decade. When he’s not writing, you can find him reviewing Time Warner Cable Business Offers.