You may already know that it’s a lot cheaper to retain a customer than acquire a new one. And if your customers are on social media, there’s no better way to keep them engaged and strengthen that relationship than the cost-effective social mediums already available to you.
This guide will take you through the ways social media can improve customer retention and help you work on deepening the connections with your existing customer base.
The importance of customer retention
Customer retention is your business’s ability to keep existing customers and prevent them from doing business with your competitors. For customer retention to be effective you need to keep them engaged, satisfied and loyal.
Existing customers are 50% more likely to try out your new products and are likely to spend 31% more than a new customer. This clearly has a direct impact on your revenue, making customer retention a very important focal point for your business.
Why social media?
It is one of the most affordable and effective methods of reaching your customers directly. They’re already following you, so you might as well engage them on a personal level to gain their trust and ensure that you stay ahead of the rest.
5 ways social media can improve customer retention
More than 60% of the world’s population is on social media. The proportion of the UK population currently with a social media presence sits at almost 80%, and is growing with every passing year. Here are some ways to proactively engage and retain your customers using social channels.
1. Be an active listener
The more you get to know your customers, the easier it will be to give them what they want to keep them happy with your business. And that starts by being a good listener, and an active one. You need to learn what is important to your users, what grievances they have, what they don’t like about your competitors, what new services they’re looking for. This way you can anticipate their needs and offer them the perfect solutions when they require them the most.
People love sharing their opinion, and social media is the perfect open forum to air out anything someone wishes to share. Use social media tools to proactively seek you customers’ opinions. Post polls and questions asking them to choose their preferences, or ask open-ended questions for more detailed feedback.
Instagram stories, Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn have built-in features that you can use to structure interactive polls. Post the answers you get to show your audience that you conduct business in full transparency, and actively try to resolve problems that crop up. Your customers on social media will see that you’ve taken their feedback seriously and are actioning them, and most of them are more likely to see you in a better light for it.
2. Excel in customer service
This brings us to our next important point — always put the customer first when communicating with them.
Customer service plays a very important role in how your brand makes your patrons feel, long after they’ve actually finished interacting with your business too. Research by Zendesk shows that 75% of customers are willing to spend more from brands that provide a good customer experience. This is why an increasing number of businesses in 2021 are putting customer service and experience at the forefront of their strategy.
Invest in training your customer service teams to respond to queries in a timely manner and with professionalism. Never leave a message unattended for more than 24 hours, and be accessible any time, anywhere. This includes:
- Setting up live chats on your website
- Responding to DMs on every social media account
- Providing webforms to fill out
- Giving them clear email addresses and helplines they can reach at any time
Social media makes it easy for customers to reach you, so provide them with service that is consistent, efficient and valuable. A reactive and quick customer support strategy will make your patrons feel appreciated and convert them quicker if they’re in a hurry to make a transaction. You don’t want them turning to your competitor for an answer!
3. Post personalised, useful and engaging content
To retain customers on social media, you need to provide them with content that is not only engaging but also useful to them on a personal level. Social media is a never-ending timeline of content from your users’ personal network — which will include your competitors — so whatever else, your post needs to stand out. Your customers may be interested in new developments about products, or they may want to keep up to date with your industry and what’s trending so they’re not left behind in a state of FOMO. Keep them informed with regular tidbits.
Be a helpful source of information by posting a variety of content that captures their interest and makes them want to share it with their network. Play around with videos, infographics, tutorials, fun facts and news articles to see what works best for your audience. If you establish yourself as an authority within your market, your customers will know exactly who to turn to for information and will stay with you for the long run.
Educating your customers through social media will also save you time and effort in solving common problems. Teach them how to use your products, answer frequently asked questions and tell them about new features so they know where to go when they need something.
4. Leverage user-generated content (UGC)
One of the most useful, or distracting, things about social media is the endless list of opinions. So, you might as well use them to your advantage! Ask customers to leave reviews and testimonials about your brand. This ensures that your business gets seen on customer networks, boosting your social proof.
Offer incentives to encourage customers to go the extra mile. You don’t want to be tagged just on an Instagram story that will disappear after 24 hours, you want to remain on their timeline. Offer a free gift for every customer that posts a review with a picture tagging your account, a relevant hashtag or for tagging three new people on the post.
User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful social tool because customers are more likely to trust recommendations from within their network than from strangers. In return, UGC provides you with an affordable marketing strategy to leverage from.
If you are faced with negative reviews or grievances, use this as the perfect chance to address them and fix things in public. Reply to the post or comment in a professional manner, apologising for their experience and offering them a solution. This shows new users that you care about fixing any problems swiftly. Follow up with the disgruntled customer directly to see how you can resolve their problem to ensure that their next interaction with you is a positive one. They may be more likely to become repeat customers when they see how valuable they are to you.
5. Target customers where they are
Not all social media platforms are created equal, just like not all customers are the same. Analyse user behaviour and pay attention to demographics to target your customers where they want to be reached. Users on LinkedIn are not there to shop or look at memes. They’re more likely to be interested in your business developments, product innovations and team structure.
Facebook has an active older generation when compared to the younger ones on Snapchat and TikTok. Pay attention to their language and how they speak in order to communicate with them in the same way. Take a deep dive into what time your users are most active, what content they engage with and what other brands they follow on which platforms. Users like to see aesthetically creative imagery on Instagram and are more likely to read long-form content on Facebook. Adopt your tone and messaging accordingly to improve customer retention for your brand.
Putting customer loyalty above everything else
A retained customer is most likely a loyal customer, and that should be at the heart of your social marketing strategy. However, while these tips will help you engage existing customers on social media, they also work to attract and convert a new following. Keeping new and existing customers satisfied will ensure that they become advocates of your brand. This can only help to spread you brand message further afield, guaranteeing more exposure and a greater chance of growing you customer base in the future.
Social media is here to stay, so you might as well make it work for your business, and for the long-term. A solid social media strategy goes beyond simply marketing to your audience. You need to invest in building an organic relationship with your target audience to ensure that it’s sustainable for the future of your business.
At Feefo, we have a wide range of tools to help you build and maintain better relationships with your customers.