For all the transformation that tech and the internet have brought to the business arena, there are a few aspects that remain the same.
One of such is the need every successful business has to build up and maintain healthy customer relationships.
Even more so than capital, infrastructure, or products; successful customer interactions (or a lack thereof) can make or break businesses, especially nowadays! While the channels used to achieve those relationships have changed, their underlying importance has only grown.
That’s why it isn’t surprising that advertisement has evolved to capitalize on the fantastic potential in social media and other digital marketing channels!
This piece tackles three essential questions on the subject of building customer relationships through digital marketing and wraps up with a simple-to-follow checklist about it.
How can digital marketing help me grow my business?
The days of marveling about the fact that you need to be “online” to have a successful business are frankly behind us. If you don’t believe me, think about the last time you used the yellow pages to find a company whose service you needed.
The point being that “digital marketing” is just what most marketing is called today.
A big part of that “digital marketing” actually involves capitalizing on social network platforms to help your business grow and nurture customer relationships.
However, the first step on that road is understanding precisely how they can help.
Let’s go over a few of the significant benefits you can reap out of a well-constructed social media strategy.
Just take a look at Social Media Examiner’s 2018 Industry Report. About two-thirds of marketers with over two years of social media marketing experience reported consistently generating leads through social platforms.
Some mediums help you grow your business, and some help you improve your customer relationships. Few accomplish both as well as social platforms do.
In the same report, you’ll find that those marketers also reported substantially better results (about 83%+ reported benefits) on driving more traffic to their content.
Fostering Consumer Trust:
If you want a lasting and profitable relationship with your customers, you need them to trust you.
Social media is an excellent way of achieving that elusive and often challenging goal, as you get to interact directly with them.
Brand recognition and permanence are two essential parts of establishing healthy customer relationships.
With social media, you get to portray your best foot forward and humanize your brand to foster both in your customers.
While these are some of the more evident benefits you get out of effective social-oriented digital marketing, they aren’t the only ones.
All things considered, there’s plenty of ways to grow your business using social.
How many Digital marketing channels are there? And which?
In the broad sense, digital marketing encompasses many channels that can benefit any business: Online presence (Website), Email, Organic traffic, PPC ads, and yes, social media!
Now, the great thing about social media platforms (digital marketing-wise) is you get to capitalize on several of those channels at the same time.
Building a social media following has a significant and compounding effect. The more you nurture it, the bigger a platform you have to redirect attention where you need it.
With 3.2 Billion people using social media regularly, social is a great place to go for traffic!
Giving your customers the content they want is another effective way to build lasting relationships with them.
Social platforms provide you with the perfect stage to do just that.
How you go about it depends a lot on your business and the format of the platform you choose. But social media interactions live through the exchange of content. (More on this later!)
An incredibly undervalued tool for growing your business when it comes to social platforms are their paid ad tools.
A big part of fostering good customer relationships is ensuring you bring together defined demographics interested in what you have to offer.
A lot of people underestimates the power of highly targeted ad campaigns (like Facebook’s) driving people to find your content. People that fit your ideal customer profile!
As you can see, social media is a digital marketing channel that makes available several popular alternatives under the same roof. However, they truly shine when you use them to nurture an audience and interact with them.
That is what makes social media platforms one of the stronger and more versatile digital marketing channels out there.
How important is content in a digital marketing strategy?
Content is such a vital piece of both, digital marketing and social media strategies that this piece would be incomplete if we didn’t go into a bit more detail on the matter.
If you want to build strong customer relationships and interactions, good content is your gateway and roadmap to that goal.
After all, content (good content!) is what people share, like, comment, and bring up in their conversations and feeds!
Now, talking about social-enabled digital marketing, content is best understood under the lens of the different platforms available.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular social media platforms right now, and see how content looks for each one.
Twitter is the undisputed master of short and informal exchanges.
It’s the ideal channel to address your customers in a friendlier and warm fashion, humanizing your brand and endearing it to them.
It used to be that content on Twitter was limited to short (140 characters) text messages. But the platform has evolved to receive other types of multimedia.
You can be snarky, serious, or friendly, but the key to content on Twitter is brevity and responsiveness.
Remember, it’s a tool to get close to your customers on a personal level. So don’t shy away from a little levity.
Instagram has risen to prominence over the past year (from an already prominent spot) to become easily one of the top three social networks.
It’s a highly visual platform, and its content reflects it.
While video is becoming increasingly popular on Instagram, the platform is still THE place for beautiful and engaging photos.
Business with a highly visual component can capitalize heavily from this. Building powerful customer relationships based around it.
If Twitter tends to be a bit more text-centric in its content, and Instagram leans more into the visual side of things, Facebook seems like a happy middle.
Long and short texts, videos, images, everything goes when it comes to Facebook’s timelines. Which gives businesses a lot of leniencies to explore different types of content and see what their audience responds to best.
It’s also a great place to nurture both, personal and professional relationships with your customer base.
Do keep in mind that you should spend some time pondering which platform allows you to convey your business´s message more effectively.
Make sure it meshes well with your company’s target audience and content, and you’ll have half the battle won.
Before you leave…
You have now a better understanding of how important social media platforms are in digital marketing, and how useful they can be in nurturing customer relationships.
However, before you leave, you should go over this quick checklist of 8 tips to build customer relationships with social media. Condensed from the points discussed above to help you meet your goals:
1 – Take time to choose social media platforms that fit your business, content, and audience.
2 – Interact with your growing audience to nurture healthy relationships.
3 – Humanize your brand! Social is about understanding the people who are behind the desk.
4 – Organize live events. Contests and competitions are compelling and keep your customers happy.
5 – Run follower-exclusive promotions and sales. It motivates people to follow your social platforms while rewarding customer loyalty.
6 – Listen before talking, but respond as quickly as possible!
7 – Personalize your interactions. Stock or automated replies are deadly in social media!
8 – Take feedback to heart! Not everything you get from your audience is gold, but most user interactions on social media hold at least a valuable nugget!
Follow this advice, and you’ll start seeing a marked improvement in consumer feedbacks and interactions with your audience!