Social networks are not just about bringing people closer, but also about connecting people and brands around the world. Today, companies see and give their best to take the advantages that social media offers to reach out and interact with their customers on the lowest possible budgets. Also, social media allows them to get to know their audience better and facilitate engagement.
Besides the opportunity to send out personalized ads that will target your audiences according to their interests, passions, and hobbies, social networks have created another type of advertisement. It goes beyond pure product promotion and persuading your customers to make a purchase. Direct communication and engagement help businesses build and strengthen relationships by getting feedback from their customers they can use as suggestions and ideas for improving their communication strategies.
The Relationship between Brand and Consumer
There has been a dramatic change in the brand-consumer relationship. Famous brands and large corporations have lost the power and control which is now in the hands of the consumers, with social media being the link between. Many top level executives are now engaging directly with their customers who are perhaps interested in buying what they have to offer.
Companies can map and plan out their marketing strategies through the use of social media conversations by finding out what their consumers feel. They can engage in real-time communication and ask their consumers to share their views on their line of products, suggest ideas for product improvement, and even ask them for user-generated content (for example, a photo of a consumer using their product, which they can use in their marketing). All this makes the consumers feel involved in the company and their marketing process. When they provide input and being heard, they tend to trust the brand and become a loyal customer.
There lies the true power of a unified social inbox. With so much communication happening on different social networks and for different purposes, having a centralized messaging system will take away the headaches of a dispersed social media management process. Want to know how you can engage your audience with social media inbox? We have some answers.
1. Multiple Communication Avenues
The role that social media plays in communication is pertinent, and more and more businesses realize that. Not many people turn to their phones anymore to call customer support or a small business, and fewer people rely on email to do the same. Nowadays, almost everyone has a profile on one or more social media platforms, so they can turn to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to get the information they want. So, as a business, it is crucial to develop more than one way your customers can contact you via social media. And once they reach you, you must have a way to respond to them as quickly as possible. That’s where the true value of social media inbox lies.
2. Maintain Conversations
There are many ways you can engage your customers. For example, you can post recent industry news and ask for opinions or share a new piece of content, and whatever you choose to, you are basically opening up to responses from your audience. On the one hand, it allows you to get new insights on your potential customers, current customers, and followers. On the other hand, it’s also an opportunity for a quality conversation. Of course, it’s impossible to reply to every comment you get on social media, but you can focus on the most engaging and pressing ones. The days when customer engagement was a one-way street are long gone, and you can establish a healthy rapport through social media by maintaining communication.
Offer special promotions and deals to your customers directly via social media messaging. Your engagement strategy should be a bit gamified and interactive, but not all the time, as you can engage your customers the old-fashioned way. Offer them membership clubs, instant discounts and coupons, or free shipping. For example, send a message to your followers to make them a special offer for a limited time, and you’ll make them feel special by giving out exclusive benefits. It could even help you increase your following, eventually. In your social inbox, you can find all the conversations and discussions you had with your customers across all social media networks that you use, which will make the whole process a lot more organized and help you reach out to your most active followers.
How do we start a conversation? You can do it by asking a question. Now, it would be weird if you ask your customer a sales question that obviously wants to get them to buy. Today’s consumers don’t like to get persuaded, and can even unfollow you because of that. Try to engage in a simple, carefree conversation, with open-ended questions – ask them about their opinions on specific topics. They like to think things through, hear from other thinkers, and let other people know what they think. So, ask questions that invite others to share their opinion on something. Also, join a group or community and simply ask a question, and if it’s provocative, timely, or relevant enough, you’ll start a lively conversation that you can stay on top of it if you have a social media inbox.
5. Engage in a Community
Creating your own community can have many benefits. When you create it, you need to keep it active, moderate it, post relevant news and updates from your niche, and start drawing in people who also want to connect. You can create a page or a group on LinkedIn or Facebook, and start developing connections with social media users who, in turn, become potential qualified leads. Create a community for your customers and followers where they can engage with you as they please. This will make them feel as they’re a part of your product development and marketing processes, instilling a sense of community in them.
eClincher, is a top-of-the-line social media management tool designed to keep all your conversations in one place, as well as to help you auto post, track, analyze, and optimize your social media networks. Their Social Inbox is an excellent extension to your social engagement strategies, letting you manage all your social media interactions and engagement in one place. We are talking about comments, likes, mentions, shares, DMs, tweets, new followers, Facebook Ad comments, YouTube comments, and even Google My Business and Yelp reviews. The platform also comes with social monitoring and listening features that help you start new conversations, interact with followers, and monitor all your mentions.
By finding out when your audience is most active on social media, you’ll know what’s the right time to start an interesting conversation as well as to plan a calendar to publish your future posts.
To summarize, the way businesses and customers interact has completely changed because of social media. It all comes down to testing, implementing, and checking how your followers better engage. Try eClincher (free trial), and you’ll realize how easy it is to communicate with your followers and unleash the potential of social media for your business.