Putting the “Social” in Social Media: Fostering Meaningful Customer Relationships

Putting the “Social” in Social Media: Fostering Meaningful Customer Relationships

Today every organization is involved in social media (or should be). Are you encouraging conversations—or are you talking at people with little response? Here’s how to develop mutually beneficial relationships with your followers.

Social media is everywhere.

By now you know that companies across all industries need to embrace social media to engage with their customers. But it’s not enough just to have an account and post to it—even if you post on a regular basis. To be successful, organizations need to focus on building relationships with their target audiences. This means they must interact with customers on social media and give them what they need and want—not just host running advertisements for their businesses.

Post Useful, Interesting Content

Give your followers the information they seek. Social media accounts should give consumers a way to interact with your brand. They want to know where your products come from, how they’re made, and why your business was started in the first place; they are not interested in content that looks like it was taken straight out of a magazine ad.

That being said, it’s important to make sure the content you share is in the most appropriate format for social media.

Your team may have just put the finishing touches on a great in-depth article on the benefits of your product, but the average social media user isn’t interested in reading a ten-page paper. Instead, pull key facts or put together a summarized version that touches on the main ideas. Your followers will appreciate the user-friendly format and will be more likely to read the information you’re giving them.

Embrace Your Followers’ Opinions

An important part of developing relationships with your followers on social media is listening to what they have to say. And that means taking the bad with the good.

Not every comment you receive will be positive. However, turn those instances into an opportunity to find out why a customer has had a bad experience and how you can improve in the future. Followers will appreciate your genuine interest in their thoughts.

In addition, if followers ask you questions, make sure that whoever handles your social media accounts is equipped to answer them. While there may be a few exceptional cases, your social media account should be a direct source of information where customers can get the answers they’re looking for.

Stay True to Your Brand

You should already have a brand standards manual (if you don’t, click here to find out why you need one), but have you standardized the voice and tone of your brand?

Especially if you have multiple people in charge of posting and responding to followers’ comments, it’s crucial to have a guide for your brand’s voice and tone. You want all communication to sound like it comes from the same entity. Furthermore, a guide is especially helpful in navigating which social media trends to pursue. For example, with the rise of “real-time” marketing, many companies have attempted to participate in this phenomenon blindly instead of waiting for the right fit with their brand. Make sure you stay genuine instead of appearing to follow every trend that pops up.

Pick the Optimal Social Media Platform(s)

It is much easier to develop relationships with followers if you have a presence on the platforms that they use the most. Each social media platform attracts different populations. For example, if your products are mostly marketed to women, you should consider having a Pinterest account.

Do some research to find out where your target audience spends its time and direct your efforts to connecting with it through those channels. Keep in mind, though, that certain types of social media have their own sets of best practices, such as platforms that use image-based content.

Start Building Meaningful Relationships!

Now that you know how to better connect with your target audience through social media, it’s time to get out there and start developing the relationships that will contribute most to your company’s success. Need help with that? Call FrogDog.

Image courtesy of emptyglass/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted: Feb 05, 2015
Updated: Oct 09, 2019
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