It is a universally acknowledged fact that retaining a customer is harder than finding one. For the survival of a brand, customer loyalty can truly make or break a company. Customer loyalty is an essential aspect as it drives in-store traffic, visits to company websites, word-of-mouth recommendations, and the conversion of leads to customers. This means the difference between profits and losses.
Brand experts and marketers must devise a foolproof strategy to retain customers. To achieve this monumental task, it depends on their ability to leverage the power of social media. Digital technology has pushed more often than not, social media as the gateway to the hearts of customers in today’s interconnected world. Therefore, brands depend on optimizing social media strategy that inspires loyalty amidst customers to build connections. So, channelizing creative and intelligent marketing hacks with prospects and customers is a must.
Fact Check: There are over 1.86 billion monthly active Facebook users. Keep in mind that this is just one social media network.
First, learn the Definition
Customer loyalty is defined as the fondness of a consumer towards one business or product over another. In other words it is a customer's attachment to a company or product. It compels them to repeatedly return due to memorable and satisfying experiences they have with that brand based on how they conduct their business.
Customer loyalty is something all companies aspire to. The very existence of a company or brand depends on it. The very foundation of a for-profit company is to attract and keep happy customers. There is no point denying the importance of those who buy your products to drive revenue. The focus of social media strategy must remain customer loyalty, as it is critical to brand success.
One of the main reasons to optimize customer loyalty is because customers can become the greatest assets to a brand. They help brands grow business faster than your sales and marketing teams. This just a brief introduction to what customer loyalty means and how a myriad of reasons influence brand power.
Fact Check: According to research, 15% of Twitter users will unfollow a brand if the brand isn’t engaging with them enough.
Next learn the Requirement
Customer loyalty promotes a primal sense of trust between brands and customers.So, when customers choose to consequently come back to a company it means more than what meets the eye. It points towards the fact that the value they're getting out of the relationship with the company wins over the value they'd get from competitors. Their partiality to one brand outweighs the attraction towards others.
When customers spend more time and money with the brands they're loyal to, it is a win win situation. The cherry on top is that these customers also become ardent spokespersons of the brands. They tell their friends, family and colleagues about those brands, too. This is beneficial as it drives referral traffic, through word-of-mouth marketing.
Marketers know that it costs more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing customer. Therefore, save your resources and invest in this meaningful activity. It should excite marketers, salespeople, and customer success managers, to move the company to greater heights through the prospect of customer loyalty. By mobilizing and activating loyal customers to recruit new ones, brands can stay on top forever. Social media is no doubt the simplest way of evangelizing a brand.
Without further ado, let's learn the five important ways to leverage social media to build brand loyalty.
1. Adopt Responsiveness
Customers and shoppers have a lot of queries. To get answers about products and services, they often ask questions on social media comment sections or query forms. When they leave comments for businesses on social platforms, it should never be ignored. Whether that’s chatting through Facebook Messenger or tweeting or through emails. While it is not logistically possible to answer everyone immediately, it’s important to engage with as many as possible.
This is because responsiveness builds their brand loyalty. It shows customers that they are being cared for. Their needs must remain the top priority even though brands are not able to respond to everyone. In fact, being unresponsive can decrease brand loyalty.
All major brands engage directly with customers by promptly replying to comments. On the flip side, failing to do so can prove detrimental to customer loyalty management of a brand.
Fact Check: According to experts, 72% of millennials will be more loyal to a brand which responds to them.
2. Impact Emotionally
One of the most foolproof ways to increase brand engagement on Social Networks is to share emotionally moving content. In order to retain clients, brands have to establish a connection that goes beyond business. It is a well known fact that people get excited and are attracted to experiences that are brought about by relatable content. Remarkable feelings such as empathy, endearment, happiness and friendship bonds all. Customers are able to identify with other human beings and not just brands.
Humane emotions are comforting and make people feel more in tune with their surroundings. However accomplishing this is a monumental task. The best way to do it is to publish emotional content that is not only aesthetic but also forges unbreakable emotional bonds with brands. If this content is a video, the better as the impact will be much larger.
So get a creative team to put out emotionally moving content. When the content is impactful, customers will find it appealing and share it on various social media platforms. This will prove to be very effective.
Fact Check: The latest statistics point out that 79% of Internet traffic will be via videos.
3: Elevate Active Advocates
Brand loyalty is connected to the perceived value consumers get from the relationship with brands. At the same time, it affects consumer behaviour significantly. Therefore, marketers should know how to cultivate loyal customers. This will get them to spend more on purchases and inspire others’ buying habits. This will also save companies significant time and lower customer acquisition costs.
Spend resources and use market expertise, to identify social advocates. Try to target them as social VIPs and build a strong relationship. Next step is to infuse those relationships with value through interaction.One way to do this is to ask your loyal customers to self-identify. This can be achieved in exchange for a reward of commensurate value for deeper engagement on social media.
For instance, offer inclusion in a social VIP club. Here, members are rewarded on an ongoing basis based on their participation.
4. Engage Customers
Brands should always make their followers feel like they’re a part of the business. To achieve this, update them about the company's latest news. One way to do this is to show them “behind the scenes.”
Social media channels are the perfect platform for taking followers behind the scenes. Post content that is honest and engaging. For example, post walk-throughs of products. Another method is to interview employees. Share photos or videos of office space and company events.Transparent business’s practices are the best way to promote customer-brand relationships.
Fact Check: 63% of customers prefer brands that are honest and transparent,
5: Measure Response
At the end of the day, brand success is defined by tracking customer retention and spend. To measure this, capture social IDs and self-identifying data in conversion activities. Then link it to CRM and throughout the sales process. Marketers can also tie this directly to their ecommerce, sales systems or through loyalty programs.
Alongside measuring growing sales, businesses should work towards an increase in social engagement and social following. This is very important in digitalmarketing. When customers share more, it creates a virtual snowball effect of brand advocacy. This ultimately, leads to an increase in more interest in the brand.
6. Sponsor Ads
Brand loyalty is not a one day task. It is built over time. The more customers are using the products or services of a company, the more loyal they will become to the company. Customers must get value out of a brand to be loyal to them. Sponsored ads is a good investment to achieve this. Since, dynamic ads encourage users to return and make a purchase. This is achieved through sponsored ads that show them products that they have already viewed or that are similar to products they have shown interest in.
Brands can set up dynamic ads on social media channels by connecting the product catalog.
For example, utilize dynamic carousel ads to show users products that are similar to ones they viewed on the company website.
Boon of Social Media
Social media strategies are not limited to targeting an audience and generating business leads. Brands can also use them in order to get loyal customers.
Along with all other marketing strategies, none can neglect social media. Since, it plays a vital role in getting potential leads and keeping them over time. Believing that social media is just for communication purposes and not for marketing is foolishness. We have already seen that the power of social media is much beyond our imagination. It’s continuously challenging our thinking and expectations.
From the past few years, the presence of social media in individuals and marketers’ life has increased at an unprecedented level. Therefore, use it to showcase brand power to target customers.
Tapping into the social media market is a requirement and not just a choice. Engaging customers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms is an effective path to create loyal customers and brand followers. This will enable customers to purchase products and services. They can act as brand ambassadors too.
Social media plays a vital role in maintaining customer relationships. Moreover, it adds to lifetime customer value.Inspire greater loyalty and customer lifetime value by incorporating the above mentioned tactics. Nurture customer loyalty with a lasting business impact through social media.
Aditya is the founder of Digital Polo a unique design company that provides unlimited design work for a simple, affordable fee. He also heads a full-service digital agency called Nico Digital.