By David Wither

How to Use Social Media to Increase Customer Engagement

  • Social media is one of today’s most effective tools to spread brand awareness and increase customer engagement. With 2.8 billion people using social media by the end of 2016, there are few other locations that provide companies with such a captive audience. And with the ever-evolving capabilities for organizations to adjust their social media advertising, it’s important to pay attention to new trends in social media engagement to stay on top of your game.

    Here are some ways you can use your social media presence to engage with your customer base.

    Communicate Regularly

    One of the easiest ways to engage with customers on social media is to simply talk with them. If you make sure that you don’t ignore the people posting and trying to contact you on your social media page, you’ll personalize your customers’ experiences with your brand.

    Many people use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to contact businesses about everything from complaints to questions on future products or services. Further, 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others, which means that if you engage with them in a positive way, they might spread the word about your services.

    A significant aspect of this is addressing customer complaints, as that’s often what customers reach out to businesses on social media about. Instead of ignoring them, see them as an opportunity to retain business and have meaningful engagement with your customers. By responding to each complaint, you’ll show your customers that you care about them, which can only improve your brand’s image.

    Basically, initiate conversations on social media with your audience, and have an open, friendly social media presence that encourages people to contact you. This way, you’ll set up stronger bonds with your customer base.

    Improve Targeting

    Despite the public’s general distaste for ads, 40.5% of people are okay with advertising if it’s targeted. To increase customer engagement with your brand on social media, consider creating ads that are targeted to specific subsets of your audience.

    The first step is to figure out the buyer personas of your audience to cater your advertising to each persona. If you’re using Facebook, its Audience Insights function is extremely valuable for this; it allows you to examine information about people who like your page to set up different target markets and strategies. Once you’ve figured out your different personas, you can create ads that cater to each group to increase the likelihood that your audiences will engage with your brand through the advertising.

    Another form of targeting you can use is mobile targeting. With 91% of mobile users from ages 18 to 29 using social media on their phones, you can use mobile technology to better cater your advertising to the groups most likely to engage with your brand.

    On nearly every platform, you can target people based on their location, creating location-based ads to engage with nearby customers. Whether you’re at a large event, own a nearby restaurant, or have a brick and mortar retail store, you can tap into the GPS capabilities of smartphones to enter your address and a predetermined radius to notify users in the area. This way, you can directly engage with people who are close and more likely to become customers.

    Go Live

    Finally, it’s imperative that you stay up to date on the latest social media functions to effectively engage with customers. Live video is one of those functions, as 82% of audiences prefer live video from a brand to social posts.

    You can access and produce live video on nearly all popular social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. This allows you to create interactive experiences with your customer base. For instance, you can have a live question and answer session, reveal a new product line, or give behind-the-scenes peeks to customers who are watching your stream.

    Even better, Facebook now prioritizes live online video in the news feed, which means that using this function makes it more likely that your customers will see and engage with your stream.

    The popularity of social media isn’t going away anytime soon, making it a perfect arena to improve your company’s customer engagement. What are some ways that you use social media to engage with your customer base?