Using Social Media & Powerful Online Tools to Build Brand Loyalty
- October 30, 2013 5:14 pm
- Social Media Marketing
Remember life before the Internet? What about life before social media? It’s scary to think that these tools are not that old. It makes you wonder...how did we ever live without them? We can now instantly communicate with others whether they are in the same city, the same country, or halfway around the world. Not only have the Internet and social media made it easier and faster for us to communicate with each other, but these tools have also helped companies significantly.
Before social media became the buzzword of today, companies found it challenging to gather feedback about their products, services and brand. Most of the time, companies didn’t know how customers felt, especially if they weren’t happy. Some may have written a letter or some may have expressed their feelings to a store manager but companies didn’t truly know what their customers were thinking.
It’s definitely a different story today. With the Internet and social media, anyone can express their opinion about anything, making it much easier for companies to gain feedback from customers. Whether it’s a comment posted on a company’s Facebook page, a hashtag on Twitter, or a picture posted on Pinterest or Instagram, customers can now express their pleasure or displeasure at any time. This is extremely valuable.
Let’s discuss how utilizing the power of the Internet and social media can improve your company’s brand loyalty and increase sales for your business.
Improve your products or services
There is always room for improvement, no matter how amazing your products or services are. Think of Apple – they have superior products and great customer service but they are always improving and developing. Listening to what customers have to say through social media allows your company to get a firsthand look at what consumers think about your products or services, which gives you a sense of their overall view of your brand.
Let’s say you sell pens and you’re seeing many customers complain online that the ink bleeds all over the page when they write. Knowing this allows you to take action and fix the problem so that your customers will be happy and continue to buy pens from you. Think about it - if this situation were to happen when social media didn’t exist, you may have no idea that customers were experiencing this problem! By listening to what customers are saying online, you are ultimately going straight to the source so that you can resolve issues faster (and before they cause bigger problems).
Build and maintain strong relationships
Social media makes it easier than ever to develop strong relationships with your customers. It not only gives your business a platform to keep customers up-to-date with the happenings of your company, but it also allows you to humanize your brand and give it some personality. With this, you are able to develop relationships with your customers which they will notice and appreciate. They want to be able to connect with your company and be heard. By listening to what customers have to say, you can address any issues they may have and possibly turn a negative experience into a positive one.
Manage your reputation
The Internet is great for sharing information instantly but this can also be a bad thing. Negative information about your company (even if it’s not true) can spread like wildfire and quickly destroy your company’s image. Luckily, social media can help you address both positive and negative comments.
Be sure to thank or reward people who step up and say great things about your company and brand. Not only does this make the person feel great that they are being recognized but it will encourage others to voice their support as well.
When it comes to negative comments, the worst thing you can do is ignore them. Remember Lululemon and their transparent yoga pants? At first, they were ignoring comments by posting on their social media accounts about unrelated topics. This only made customers angrier that the company wasn’t acknowledging their complaints.
What you should do instead is address negative comments as soon as possible. This will allow you to take action and solve the issue which will (hopefully) make those customers happy. Ignoring them will only make them feel like you don’t care about their business, which could make them switch over to your competitors.
Stay one step ahead of the competition
We’ve discussed how listening to what your customers have to say online about your brand can help improve products or services, relationships, and your reputation, but you can also gain excellent information about your competitors. For example, if a competitor has come out with a new product or has implemented a new marketing technique that seems to be successful, you can use this to help improve your company’s own strategies. Also, if you see complaints about a particular issue, this can help to prevent your company from making the same mistakes.
As you can see, listening to what you customers have to say about your brand and company is extremely important in order to stick out from the crowd. If you don’t, customers will feel ignored and you risk losing them to your competitors. Come out on top by investing in a social media listening strategy that will give you great insights on what your customers are thinking.