Customer retention is key to your business success. Naturally, learning to use it to your advantage will benefit you a lot in the long run.
Now, don’t confuse customer retention with customer acquisition and lead generation. Customer retention is all about engaging your existing customers to do business with you for the long haul.
You want to form lasting relationships with your customers and increase your sales.
And you want your customers to spread the word about your business within their circles and make them brand ambassadors.
One of the best tactics to boost customer retention is by using social media. The main reason is that there are so many social media users today.
And of course, using a digital medium to reach out to your customers is cheaper.
It is also estimated that a 5% increase in customer retention can boost a business’s revenue by 25 to 95%.
So, if your business is looking for strategies to boost customer retention using social media, here are five crucial tips you can implement.
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Understand your target audience and platforms
Find out who your current customers are- their jobs, age, and income. Your analytics can tell a lot about your audiences’ demographic details.
Also, analyze your social media statistics and track your current campaigns. It will help your business to develop what you already know about your audience.
Once you are done with that, your next step should be to find out your audience’s pain points and see how your product or service solves the problem.
It is also equally important to find out where your customers spend most of their time.
For instance, the population of Silent generation Facebook users has almost doubled, while 38% of Twitter users fall between the age group of 18 to 29 years. Instagram is used more by younger generations. 35% of Instagram users fall between the age group of 25 to 34 years.
When you know where your audience is, you will know which social media platforms to focus on.
Engage with your followers
Crafting valuable content and posting it regularly on social media platforms and responding to customers is a brilliant way to build customer trust.
When you post content, you can also leave links to direct your audience to your website or your newest YouTube video. Don’t forget to use a custom URL shortener to manage your links and promote sharing easily.
Make it a habit to make prompt replies to your customers, knowing that you care about what they have to say and value them. Most importantly, make sure to answer all of their questions regularly.
And if someone shares something positive about your business in social media, intensify their message by sharing it across your own social media channels. What’s more, you can even follow your customers to build relationships.
It is also essential to share your human side. Talk with your audience in a personal way so as to create an emotional connection.
Plus, post relatable content that talks about common issues and customer’s pain points and provide answers. You can use humor to effectively bond with your audience.
Other than that, make your content accessible by using thoughtful image descriptions when you post and using captions when you post videos.
And can also take a stand on prevalent social issues.
Here’s how Patagonia, an American American clothing company that sells outdoor clothing, chose to address an important social issue:
It is estimated that 75% of people are likely to purchase your products or services if you support an issue close to their hearts.
Monitor conversations about your brand on social media
Your brand needs a great social media strategy. Responding only to @mentions of your brand is not enough. People reach out to brands on social media for several reasons, and they may not directly tag you.
If you are monitoring and responding only to direct mentions, you are missing out on different messages that mention your brand by a variation of your name or messages that discuss your product.
To easily monitor conversations or mentions about your brand on social media, use social media monitoring tools. They can track brand mentions with or without direct tagging, relevant hashtags, and also track when someone mentions your competitors. And you will get to know about your industry’s general trends.
Let’s have a look at some of the best social media monitoring tools:
- Hootsuite: This tool will let you monitor conversations relevant to your business, industry, and products. Based on keywords, hashtags, locations, and specific users, you will come to know what people are talking about your brand.
- Google Alerts: You can track the whole web for mentions of your company or your competitors and relevant topics. You will be notified via email every time Google finds something relevant.
- Mentionlytics: This tool can scan both web and social platforms to let you know when your brand is mentioned even when you are not tagged. It shows the emotion and sentiment information related to every mention, making it easy for users to know when there are issues that need to be addressed.
- ReviewInc: With this tool, you can view over 200 popular review sites from over 100 countries. It lets you organize positive reviews that you can share on social media platforms. It also makes it easy to respond to and resolve problems right away. The tool can be integrated with Hootsuite.
Use social media to provide great customer service
In this day and age, using social media to provide great customer support is vital. Customers expect it from you.
It is estimated that over 150 million people send a direct message to businesses via Instagram monthly. In the US, 69% of people say that directly messaging a company boosts their confidence about the brand.
And customers who get replies from brands to their tweets are willing to spend three to 30% more on that business when they make purchases in the future.
Be proactive on your social media channels, and always respond promptly. Use chatbots to help ease the burden on human customer service teams who can’t be available 24/7. Automated Chatbots can answer customer queries in real-time without needing the service of your customer support team.
Use hashtags strategically. It will allow users to find their concerns under the hashtags. Hashtags also make things organized and easy to navigate, particularly on social channels like Twitter.
Experts advise creating three kinds of hashtags- content, trending, and brand-specific hashtags. You should be creating trending and specific content hashtags, but it is equally important to craft brand-specific hashtags for your different campaigns.
Moreover, you should have a social media guideline in place for customer support. The guidelines should line up with your company values as well as with your social marketing team.
Consider covering things like tone of voice, answers to FAQs, response time for each social channel, protocols to follow when there are customer issues or escalations, a message approval process, and so on.
Encourage user-generated content
It is estimated that 85% of users find visual user-generated content more persuasive as compared to videos and photos.
There are several ways to encourage user-generated content on social media. You can create a buzz for your brand to let users talk about your brand on social media.
For instance, the Coca-Cola Company created a “Share a Coke’ campaign that was immensely successful and had an audience from over 50 countries.
They cleverly swapped Coke out its logo and used random names, allowing users to find their names or the names of people they know. The campaign was successful as it was shareable and engaging.
Another way to create user-generated content is to run contests or quizzes.
Here’s how the soap company Dove ran their successful contest and promoted their ‘Real Beauty’ message.
Users were asked why their friend ‘represents real beauty.’ Users were made to enter their friend’s names and to write two things that make them beautiful. No wonder they got an overwhelming response from their fans.
While running contests, consider these tips:
- Outline the objective, type, and timing of your contest.
- Write clear rules to avoid any misunderstanding.
- Use an attractive image.
- Optimize your content for mobile.
- Encourage the audience to share your contest.
- Add an urgency factor to make people take action.
- Adhere to the protocols of the platform where you are holding the contest.
Boosting customer retention is vital if you want to increase sales and boost your business. A great way to do it is by using social media channels.
People these days spend most of their free time on social media. It is said that people spend 3 hours on an average on social media. And 54% of them are using it to research products.
So, businesses that are not using social media to engage with their audience are missing out on a lot. In order to retain your customers, you need to build trust and give value. Social media can help your business to offer your customers the best customer service and make them your loyal fans for a lifetime.
Hazel Raoult is a freelance marketing writer and works with PRmention. She has 6+ years of experience in writing about business, entrepreneurship, marketing and all things SaaS. Hazel loves to split her time between writing, editing, and hanging out with her family.