The key to any strong relationship is trust. And typically, you don’t trust just any stranger off the street. You need to build a relationship before you put your trust in someone. It’s the same for the relationship between customers and businesses.
The problem is, consumers don’t tend to trust companies. In fact, according to Salesforce, 54% of customers don’t believe that companies have their best interests in mind. So, if you want customers to trust your business, you need to work hard to build relationships with them first.
When you build a relationship with your customers, they’ll be more loyal to your brand; they’ll buy from you over and over again and they’ll recommend your business to all of their family and friends. It’s extremely important to build a relationship with your customers. But, how do you do it?
One of the easiest ways to build customer relationships is by connecting with them through social media. Since consumers are already visiting social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter multiple times a day, it gives you the perfect opportunity to connect with them.
Here’s how to build customer relationships using social media.
1. Show your human side
The first step to building customer relationships on social media is to let them see the person behind the business. You can’t use your social media profiles just to promote your company. If you’re constantly promoting your products or services, people won’t want to follow you. Instead, use your social media presence to show your human side a little too. When you show your customers your human side, they’ll be able to connect with you better.
For instance, instead of just promoting their shows and movies, Netflix shows off their human side by using humor. Check out this meme they shared.
While memes aren’t right for every business, you can show your human side in a number of different ways, including:
- Adding fun emojis to your posts
- Introducing your team members and sharing their photos
- Giving customers a “behind-the-scenes” look at your company
- Sharing your successes and your failures
- Using live video (Facebook Live or Instagram Live) to interact with your customers
Once your customers get to know the person behind the brand, they’ll feel like they truly know you, which is important when building meaningful relationships.
2. Interact with your followers
Aside from just sharing content on social media for your followers to check out, you need to actually interact with them too. You won’t be able to build relationships with your customers if they feel like they’re invisible. So, talk to them!
When customers comment on your posts, be sure to reply to them. Even simply “liking” the comment or reacting with the thumbs up emoji will make your customers feel heard and appreciated. You might be surprised at how a simple reply or “like” can brighten someone’s day and make them feel special.
Plus, when your other followers see that you interact with users that comment on your posts, they’ll be more likely to join in on the conversation too, which helps you boost your social media engagement.
When you talk to your followers on social media, your business will feel like a friend to them.
3. Use social media to grow your email list
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to build relationships with your customers because it’s direct; you can send regular messages to your customers that go straight to their inboxes. In fact, according to HubSpot, 80% of business professionals believe that email marketing increases customer retention. So, you should be using your social media channels to grow your email list. But, how?
Well, one easy way to grow your email list with social media is by sharing your lead magnets. Lead magnets are basically freebies that you offer to people in exchange for their email address. A lead magnet could be a PDF guide, template, calendar, eBook, or printable, just to name a few.
Typically, you offer lead magnets to your website visitors via a popup. But, if you want to get more email subscribers from social media, you should be sharing your lead magnet on those channels too.
Create a post sharing your lead magnet like how Talia Wolf does below for Twitter. She even pins the tweet to the top of her page so it’s the first thing users see when they land on her profile.
Turning your social media followers into email subscribers will let you to talk to them directly anytime you want, which is important if you want to build a solid relationship.
4. Provide customer service on social media
Good customer service is crucial to the success of any business. In fact, according to Help Scout, when it comes to making a purchase, 64% of people find customer experience more important than price. In addition to great service, customers want lightning-fast customer service. These days, you need to be available to help your customers 24/7.
So, to be able to help your customers and respond to their questions day and night, you need to provide customer service on social media. Providing superior customer service on social media will help your customers build a trusting relationship with your company.
Being able to get customer service on social media is super convenient for consumers. It’s such a popular channel for customer service that some big businesses even have entire accounts dedicated to customer service like Adobe does.
But, if you’re a small business, how can you provide customer support all day and night?
Don’t worry, you don’t have to wait by your computer screen for the next message to come in. You can use chatbots for Facebook and Twitter that will answer customer questions for you or you can outsource your customer service.
5. Share user-generated content
A great way to make your customers feel valued and appreciated is by sharing user-generated content. User-generated content (UGC) is any type of content like photos, blog posts, videos, etc. that has been created by users and shared on online platforms such as social media.
For instance, here’s some user-generated content from Starbucks. They shared a photo of one of their customers enjoying a cup of their coffee.
If your customers are posting photos with your product, share them on your social media channels and tag them in the post. Your customers will feel so special when they get featured on your profile.
Additionally, user-generated content is an effective form of social proof. 59% of users use social media as buying inspiration. So, when users see photos of real people enjoying your products on social media, they’ll be more likely to buy from you too.
6. Get their feedback
As we just mentioned, if you want to build customer relationships using social media, it’s important that your customers feel valued and appreciated. It’s also important that they feel heard. So, you should be using social media to get feedback from your customers.
Getting feedback from your customers won’t only help you build a better relationship with them, but if you put the feedback you get into action, you can improve your company as a whole. Getting feedback from your followers will also help you learn a lot about them.
For example, swimwear brand Mimi Hammer created a poll for their Instagram Stories to find out what swimsuit style their followers preferred.
So, start utilizing polls and surveys, end social media posts with a question, or ask your followers to comment their thoughts.
And don’t just do it once. Make sure to ask your customers what they think from time to time so that they know their opinions are held in high esteem.
7. Use social media listening tools
Aside from asking what your customers think directly, you can also use social media listening tools to find out what they think of your brand when they’re not communicating directly with you.
With social media listening tools like Sprout Social and Keyhole, you can track specific keywords and mentions of your brand on social media. So, if a frustrated user tweets about your business without mentioning you directly, you’ll be notified and you can help them solve their issue.
Social media listening tools are also great for finding out what interests your audience. Since you can see what your customers are talking about online, you can use that information to create content and marketing messages that are more relevant to them. When your content and marketing messages are more relevant, consumers will be more willing to take action.
As you can see, building customer relationships will help your customers feel more connected to you and it will provide you with actionable insights you can use to grow your business.
Over to you
Overall, to build relationships with your customers they need to feel important and they need to know that they can trust your business. Luckily, with these tips for how to build customer relationships using social media, your company will be able to turn casual customers into lifelong fans in no time. Start building relationships today.