When it comes to managing your relationship with customers online, there are two aspects you really need to think about in any detail. First, there’s the first impression. How do you get them in and what do they see when they first stop by your online presence. Then there’s the (perhaps more important) aspect we’ll cover below. How do you get them spending more time with the business and, in time, spending more money on it as well?
Why loyalty matters
It’s a good virtue to possess, but to a business, loyalty means a lot more. Online, for instance, it means building a buzz around the business. Building brand recognition and word-of-mouth are only going to improve the prestige and reputation of the brand which draws more customers in. But there’s a lot of benefit with those loyal customers themselves. Firstly, they tend to take less effort to retain than it would to entice an entirely new customer. Perhaps more importantly, however, is the fact that repeat customers spend 67% more on average than first-timers.
Know how most users spend their time online
This is the most important part of connecting with customers more often online. You have to know how they like spending their time online and how they like interacting with your business. For instance, mobile users spend 86% of their online time on apps so teams like Red C app developers might be where you’ll find your big customer connection opportunity. You need to research your market and where they are in particular, too, in terms of social media. Twitter and Facebook are must-haves for every business. But getting up on Youtube, Instagram, LinkedIn and the like offers different value to different kinds of users. Where will you get the most crossover with your customers?
Get them hooked
A great way to keep customers coming back is with content that’s informative, entertaining, or educational. But you have to get them reading that content for them to see the value of checking you out more often. To that end, there are some lessons to be learned from clickbait. The art of creating engaging lead-ins to content is an essential part of getting people to read that content in the first place. Note, this doesn’t mean you should engage in creating clickbait articles. Those are mainly to gain ad revenue and most people don’t like them. Just use the tried and tested marketing method they’ve brought to the world.
Getting that loyalty is mostly about demonstrating enough emotional value that users like spending time with your business online. But it can be helped along by giving them more reason to spend time that way in the first place. Encourage loyalty not only through rewards systems in the actual purchasing but with a referral program as well. You’re not only creating a positive interaction with the customer but giving your business the opportunity to capitalize on a new customer as well.
Make plenty of room for genuine interaction
Running social media is very much a professional endeavour. It will feel like work. But that doesn’t mean it has to all be in the same corporate voice that web users are getting bored of. Keep social media engagement genuine. Make sure you’re not making the mistakes that have you looking like a suit online. Reply and comment to your followers. Don’t keep repeatedly posting the same old content. Even during your hardest marketing pushes, make sure you’re varying up the message. Get creative. For instance, if you have a piece of copy or content you’re using in a marketing campaign, use social to deliver the most interesting points piece-by-piece. The messages all lead to the same conclusion, but they have different content.
Make satisfaction delivery a priority
Online, everyone is going to see how you handle customers. Make sure they’re always seeing the best face of the business. Make it a regular occurrence to switch up and offer more attractive deals. Use your Facebook page as a place to offer support. Always deal with negativity with civility and an eagerness to solve problems, taking things into personal contact rather than leaving messages there to fester unchecked.
Let the data lead the strategy
Most social media platforms have some methods of tracking which posts amongst your arsenal are doing best. It’s worth using data collection methods to get a broader view of which platforms are working best, which strategies suit which platforms and what kind of content has cross-platform appeal. Your data is going to help you quickly identify the things shared in common by successful posts and the things shared in common by posts that are only successful at getting ignored. Don’t neglect the data.
Remind them you’re there now and again
Attention spans aren’t always great on the internet. Someone might have a genuine interest and an interest in revisiting your business online in future, but they will simply forget if something shiny comes along. Driving subscribers to an online mailing list where you can deliver better content and better deals can work. But they don’t have to be subscribers for you to reach them. Remarketing allows your brand to make appearances, much like with pay-per-click ads, but after they’ve visited the site.
Have more time to spend with them
One of the reasons customers might not be spending more time with you online is that you don’t have the time to spend with them. If you’re not very active on social media, you will lose followers. If you don’t make time to create new content, people will stop checking the site for it. Time management and making it part of your core business functions to spend more time on creating a more active online presence is crucial. Social media management tools and the like can make it easier, but if you want the results, you have to put the hours in.
Loyalty and a lasting and repeated connection with your customers is going to do a lot of good for the business. Don’t be a flash in the pan for them but a community they can see themselves fitting into.