Social media has changed the way we interact with friends, family, colleagues, and most importantly, brands. Through social media, customers can connect with brands, companies, and products in a way unlike ever before. This provides a unique opportunity for you to create brand loyalty through social media marketing.
As an entrepreneur, small business owner, marketing manager, or agency, your responsibility is to leverage social media to generate business. As discussed in a previous blog article, Social Media Engagement is key to your success through social media marketing. This is the best strategy for you to connect with your prospects and customers to present your brand as an authority and develop trust.
Brand Loyalty Through Social Media Marketing
Whether you like it or not, your customers are talking about your brand on social media. Customers have always dictated brand perception through word-of-mouth. Companies can put out good products, market those products, and attempt to steer branding in a certain direction, but it’s always been up to the customers.
Now, word-of-mouth has moved online and happens on a much larger scale. And through various social media platforms it’s available for all to see. As marketing and advertising has become less effective, your customers and prospects rely on reviews and their peers to determine the quality of brand.
According to Forbes, 35% of millennials consider online forums prior to purchasing a product. That’s why companies like Yelp have become so successful. Your customers, and the reviews they post about your products or services influence your branding. Be aware of what they’re saying and respond as necessary.
This is why social media engagement is so important. It allows you to connect with customers to develop their trust, nurture relationships, and create brand loyalty.
Three Steps to Create Brand Loyalty
Listen to Customers
There are so many tools available to social media marketers now. Many include a social monitoring feature that provides additional feeds based on specific search terms. This allows you to easily see posts and tweets important to your brand while avoiding all the clutter of your main feed.
You need to hear what your customers are saying about your brand. Their comments and posts are influencing how your brand is perceived by your prospects. The good thing is that if customers are posting reviews online, you can see it too! Social listening is a great way to see what’s being said about your brand. You can also find your target audience by asking these questions:
- Which platforms are they on?
- Which products and services are mentioned the most?
- Are there consistent criticisms you need to address?
- What types of content do they share? (Photos, videos, etc.)
- Are there common features of posts? (hashtags, emojis, etc.)
Through social listening, you can get a better understanding of how your brand is perceived online. Then, you can create strategies that can improve your brand’s perception.
Promote Customer Reviews
Most companies are afraid to ask for reviews. Why? Because they’re worried about receiving negative feedback. However, customers want to know that companies value their opinion.
And, why should you worry about negative review? If customers control the perception of your brand, especially online, you might as well encourage reviews to gain more insights about your products or services directly from your customers. Yes, you may receive bad reviews, but instead of fearing these, look at it as an opportunity to respond to criticisms and improve your products or services. Handling criticism properly, especially on an open forum such as social media, is another opportunity for you to present your brand as an industry leader.
Plus, 42% of millennials want to be involved in helping companies develop future products and services. That means by asking for and responding to both good and bad customer reviews on social media, you’re connecting with your customers and providing them an opportunity to be a part of your brand moving forward. This helps you create the best products and services and it gives your customers a sense of inclusion.
Don’t miss this opportunity to engage with your audience and develop brand loyalty!
Think Like Your Customers
Of course you want your customers to be loyal. The cost of finding a new customer is much more expensive than keeping a current one.
But put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Why should they be loyal to your brand? How will they benefit from brand loyalty?
You need to give them reason to be loyal to your brand. One of the best ways is through rewards and incentives. Larger companies have used this strategy for years. Social media provides a platform for you to leverage the benefits of these incentives the same way as those larger corporations. Rewards can include:
- Exclusive Content
- Behind the scenes or Insider’s Look
- Sneak peek at updates or new products
Social Media Marketing to Create Brand Loyalty
In a recent study, Forbes found that 62% of millennials say that if a brand engages them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer. That number is staggering. Your customers want you to connect with them on the platforms that they use, not the ones that business have used for generations (advertising). Social media is the platform your customers use everyday. Stop missing an opportunity to connect with them. Plus, with social media monitoring, you can listen to what they’re saying.
Recently, Brett Relander wrote in an Entrepreneur article that, “Savvy marketers have long been well aware that customer loyalty is established and reestablished at each interaction point a brand makes with a customer.”
Now, with so many connection points, you need to develop the trust and nurture the relationships necessary to create brand loyalty. Use social media marketing to focus on connecting with your current customers as opposed to simply growing your number of followers.
Social media management tools make your social media marketing easier by allowing you to engage and connect with your followers right from your main dashboard. Be an active and engaged member of your social media community with shout outs, mentions, and shares. This will provide you with more exposure and develop the brand loyalty you need in the modern business world.
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