Improve Customer Interaction on Social Media

Social media is an essential staple of customer interaction in today’s business world. No matter what your company’s focus is, social media is a tool you must take full advantage of. Here are a few steps toward improving your social media presence and engagement.

Facebook is your friend! The companies with the best customer-interaction strategies come up with new and unique ways to connect with their followers. It is important to present the company as a group of real people, with familiar faces, personalities, and an eagerness to connect as friends. Try highlighting your employees via your Facebook page. Emphasize their individual quirks and interests – try pairing current pictures with their baby photos or asking a weekly or biweekly question (“What are you listening to?” “What is the name of your pet?”).

Similarly try using Facebook to highlight your followers. This has the advantage of attracting interest and offering advantageous exposure to those you do feature. It helps make your viewers to feel part of the company and a fun, diverse community.

social mediaDon’t hesitate to get personal. Send shout-outs on Twitter to followers to compliment their achievements, record personalized video messages through Vine, thank someone for sharing your content, answer or ask questions. Similarly don’t avoid leaving a personal stamp on the Tweets. Some companies include the initials of the Tweeter inside the message or the Twitter handle of that person. It adds a very human touch and authenticates the interactions. Always respond to those who tweet toward your company to show that you appreciate the shout-out and value their input – whatever it might be.

If you have a LinkedIn Company Page, take advantage of their group functions which allows you up to three groups. Not only does this give your company more visibility, but it also gives you an additional opportunity to be involved in your industry’s discussions.

Pinterest also is a growing platform for customer interaction and sparking interest in your company. You can create company pins to promote your products, special offers, or announcements. Also you can collaborate with other users for that personal connection. Invite other users to pin to certain boards. Follow similar boards or users with similar interests. Comment on and repin other users’ pins. Make sure to use the platform for interaction as well as promotion.

Another place to maintain a presence is on Foursquare. Leaving tips and pieces of advice at your locations shows your investment in customer ease of action and connection. Try leaving a joke to emphasize your personable side. You can create lists as helpful resources for other people and promote visibility for your company.

The hashtag is a useful tool for encouraging interaction and offering customer promotion. Use Instagram’s personalized hashtags to stand out. Encourage your followers to utilize your hashtags and feature the best pictures on your page at the end of the week along with credit. At the end of the day, you will have a fun community, pleased customers, and increased traffic.

The only downside of having a variety of social media platforms is that maintaining the interaction and customer service is nearly a fulltime job. Expectations for response-time, personalized answers, and immediate solutions can be overwhelming. Be sure that you are prepared to handle these expectations and demands, as customers can be easily disappointed and emphasize the negative experiences. The best strategy is to select which platforms will give your business the best visibility and where your current and potential customers frequent. If you have the capability for a presence on a large variety of platforms, go for it! If you have any doubts about being able to keep up with the interaction, start small and add in additional platforms eventually.

Pros and Cons of Email Marketing

 

woman typingEmail marketing and newsletters can often be overlooked as outdated, as it has been around since the 1990’s. However e-newsletters have stood the test of time and still hold a place among the many methods vying for customers’ attention. If you are considering either adding a newsletter to your customer connection outreaches or getting rid of your newsletter, here are some pros and cons to consider.

Pros

 

  • Statistics are easy to read and interpret. Platforms are available to provide you with detailed statistics about interaction with your newsletter: who opens it up, their location at the time, which links were clicked and which avoided etc. From there you are able to identify and utilize the most helpful parts of the newsletter, target a more specific audience, and know what content that audience is looking for.
  • Pulls traffic to your website. Obviously the newsletter will contain a link to your website, but don’t stop there. Include a peek at your latest blog posts or your Twitter feed and invite them to participate in conversations hosted in those places.
  • Emphasizes personality. A newsletter opens up the possibility for the business owner to include short articles, updates, or personal stories. Making this personal connection is very important in customer relations. It will show you as down-to-earth and a real person, instead of a vague company entity.
  • Design and create your brand. You get full creative license in establishing a unique look for your company and keeping it consistent, yet interesting. Having an arrangement, color scheme, logo, and design that immediately makes your readers think of your brand is an essential marketing strategy and a strategy that newsletters will help you accomplish.
  • Cost efficient. The price of a newsletter is doubtlessly lower than that of a physical newsletter and maintenance is also far easier of a process.
  • Fully customizable. This covers both the content and the audience demographic. You can target specific interests of your audience by only sending relevant information. Some people will be interested in areas of your company or updates that others will not be. Being aware of this and focusing your information on those interested in it shows that you are connected to your audience and both respect and understand their interests.

Cons

  • Email overload. We all know the feeling of opening our inbox to find 35 unread emails waiting. It is easy for mail to get lost in the shuffle or deemed as less important and deleted without even opening it just to clear the clutter.
  • Spam filters. Everyone uses these and as handy as they can be for decluttering, anything advertisement related can automatically be sentenced to the spam folder.
  • Online marketing stretched thin. There are so many places today that require online presence: Facebook, Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, and so forth. It can be hard to keep all of these platforms up and running with new content. You do not want to stretch your resources too thin. It is best to identify the platforms that are most helpful to your business and focus on those.
  • Unsubscribe buttons. It is as easy to sign up as to unsubscribe, unfortunately. While people are less picky about prioritizing what they choose to “like” on Facebook or follow on Twitter, having constant new unread emails can feel like a chore waiting to be checked off. The moment your newsletter stops being new and interesting, your audience levels will drop.

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