When it comes to promoting your business, nothing says ‘we’re the best’ like a loyal fan base willing to rave about you to anybody that will listen.
Brand loyalty has always been vital to any company looking to get a step ahead of the competition, but creating loyalty takes a lot of hard work.
If you’re looking to create a community of loyal fans on social media, you’ll need to follow these five simple (yet painstaking) tips.
1. Honesty is always the best policy
Whether you’re sharing content with Facebook users, expressing your thoughts in 140 characters or less on Twitter, or pinning your latest products on Pinterest, there’s one characteristic that should always serve as the backbone to your social media campaign: honesty.
If you’re not 100% honest with your followers and fans, why should they be 100% honest with you? To create a successful social media community, you need to be transparent about your company, what you do, who you do it for, and – on a more specific level – how you run your social media.
Don’t tell people you’re on social media 24/7 if you only login during working hours. Don’t tell people social media is the best way to reach you if you only check your messages once a week. And don’t tell people they can find all of your latest products on your social media pages if you never update them.
Be honest in your relationship with fans and you’ll be starting on the right foot at least.
2. Only the best customer service will do
Perhaps the biggest benefit to come out of social media for business is the ability to learn from your customers. Never before has it been so easy to interact with customers and find out what they really think of your products or services. But with these benefits comes the need to be on top of your customer services.
More and more people are taking to social media to complain or express their disappointment. Sure, plenty of people use the likes of Twitter and Facebook to say how much they love a new purchase, but people are always more likely to be in touch if something has gone wrong. This isn’t something that’s come about because of social media either.
So, you need to be there to respond to queries, complaints, and positive feedback. You need to be there with only the very best customer service. When you respond quickly and satisfactorily, you’ll install confidence in the customer. Confidence in the customer is a big step towards creating a community of loyal followers.
3. Reach out and say thanks
It’s vital that you remember social media is a two-way road. As well as responding to feedback, it’s also worthwhile you offering your own feedback (of sorts) to those you interact with.
Social media offers an excellent opportunity for you to reach out and thank your customers. If somebody makes a purchase, leave a message of thanks. If somebody leaves good feedback, thank them. If somebody has a problem, thank them for being patient while you work (quickly) to find a suitable solution.
By saying thank you, you’re creating a connection that will last. People remember when a company is polite. They remember when they were thanked. And more importantly, they feel appreciated. If you truly want to build a raving fan base, making people feel appreciated is paramount.
4. Make yourself available
The importance of engagement within your social media community cannot be downplayed. If you’re to engage with others, you need to make yourself available.
Now, nobody expects you to be available 24/7 (unless you’re a world-beating mega corporation with offices around the world, that is), but you do need to be available often. Experiment with different times to start with and try and learn if there’s a specific time your fans and followers are more likely to be online. Then make sure your presence is known.
Sitting around waiting for people to come to you won’t work. You need to ensure that you’re visible to as many people as possible, which means quality, interesting content and the willingness to interact with others, and not necessarily just your own followers. Visit your competitors’ pages or find some kind of common ground with those that are likely to be looking for your services.
5. Give people something to come back for
Finally, as good as your products are, as polite as you are, and as awesome as your customer services are, you’re still going to be left with an eerily quiet social media campaign if you don’t have something people want.
Quality content will always entice people to come back for more. From interesting status updates to great-looking pictures, make sure you share content that will grab the attention and give your fans a reason first to visit your page and secondly to shout about it to others.