7 Ways To A Memorable Consumer Experience
You don’t need a Facebook, YouTube or Twitter account for your brand to be on social media, but you do need those accounts if you want to be a part of the conversation.
The simple truth is that social media is a big part of how consumers interact with and discuss brands, whether or not those brands are active in social media themselves.
This creates a new set of challenges for brands as now consumers have the same ability to reach a global audience as large companies. This includes both their complaints and their compliments.
However, there are ways brands can leverage this and use social media for interaction and promotion, including these seven, simple ways to give customers a positive and memorable experience.
1. Integrate Social Media Into Your Marketing
Integrating social media into your marketing is much more than just setting up a Facebook Fan Page and then putting it in your other marketing materials. Integrating it into your marketing means making everything work together, in terms of visuals, message and target audience.
Marketing integration is about having one voice across many channels. If you can do that, your message on social media will be much more powerful and much more compelling to those who are interested in your brand.
2. Offer Official Channels
One of the problems with social media is that the conversation takes place all over, often times in places you can’t see or catch. One of your goals should be to draw in as much of the conversation as you can under your virtual roof. This way, you can participate and moderate it effectively.
Having official Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. channels and enabling conversation on them draws the dialog toward you. Customers, generally, would prefer to talk directly to the companies they are talking about, or at least in an “official” place for it, especially if they know they can connect with you there.
If you offer that, you will collect much of the conversation and offer a better customer experience at the same time.
3. Approach Others Who Mention Your Brand
In addition to having your official channels, monitor the rest of social media the best that you can for other mentions of your brand and respond to them. You might not be able to prevent people from saying negative things about your brand; but you can respond and either fix the problem or refute any misinformation.
There are many social media monitoring services out there that can help, including Trackur and Radian6 to name two, but the important thing is to respond to customer complaints and questions as quickly as possible, within 12 hours if possible.
4. Empower Your Social Media Reps
From a customer service standpoint, social media is no different from telephone or email support, customers expect answers and fixes.
Empower your social media representatives the same as you do your customer services reps. They need to be able to give answers, fix problems and even, in some cases, provide some basic product support.
If your reps can do that, they can provide a first-class customer experience that even an upset customer will remember.
5. Offer Exclusives to Social Media Followers
Though dealing with angry customers is a major part of social media, energizing happy ones is equally important. One important step is to give people a reason to follow you on social media and that includes offering exclusive content for those who do.
Twitter giveaways, discounts to those who “Like” you on Facebook and YouTube contests are just some of the ways you can turn your existing fans and customers into social media followers.
6. Get Personal
Social media is a great chance to communicate with your customers in a personal, seemingly one-on-one manner. It’s a way to allow customers to meet the people behind a brand or a company.
Be personable with your writing in social media and let your followers “meet” the people behind the company, in particular the leaders and managers.
Generally, people connect better with other people than they do with brands. Social media is a great opportunity to do just that.
7. Be Honest
Though social media is a marketing channel, it has as much in common with public relations than advertising. It isn’t a place merely to post a marketing message. It’s a place to be honest and to connect with people.
Whether things are going good or bad, honesty is important and appreciated. If your social media followers feel that they are being lied to or being subjected to spin, they will turn on you. However, simple honesty earns respect and is very refreshing, even in social media.
The more transparent you can be, the better your customer’s experience will be. It’s that simple.
In the end, social media is about making connections. This means giving customers a meaningful way to connect to your brand and a way for you to connect with them.
If you focus on that more than simply using social media to promote yourself and your brand, you’ll likely find that your customers have a great experience and will help you spread your social media presence to their friends.
You’ll also likely find that these customers become more engaged in your brand, making them more involved and more active. That, in turn, makes them much more valuable as customers, regardless of how much they spend.
This guest post is written by Lior Levin, a marketing consultant for a company that provides the best to do list app available online. Lior also consults for an international company that specializes in new cancer treatments.