The Power of Social for Customer Engagement Strategies
Social media marketing is here to stay because it happens to be one of the best and most lucrative ways to attract customers loyal or new. Find that hard to believe? Let’s look at the facts.
Social marketing has a higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing, at 100% more. Plus, 84% of B2B marketers use social networks to do their bidding. If that doesn’t convince you, consider that adults from ages 18 to 34 are 95% more likely to follow a brand via social media.
With the right strategies in place, social will present many new opportunities for your business, whether you’re a big conglomerate or a small local-born shop. If there’s one thing that’s true of business - and always will be - it’s that you need to continue growing, evolving, and innovating if you want to see success and retain it. In order to do that, you need to be able to reach a wide audience, as quickly and reliably as possible. Without a social presence, there’s just no viable way to do that even via conventional marketing and promotional techniques. Small businesses especially can and do benefit greatly thanks to social exposure from networks like Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Social achieves several things for a business. For starters, it gives you a much wider reach than any other form of marketing, and more importantly, a much more niche and targeted approach. You can use social networks to pinpoint demographics and audiences, exactly as you need. Say, like targeting 18 to 25-year-olds for a new product or service.
Social also helps boost your SEO, strengthens brand loyalty, introduces you to new communities, and helps foster close relationships or strong networks within your local community.
So the value of social is obvious.
The social impact must - and we do mean must - be allowed to trickle throughout your entire portfolio of cross-functional teams. Not only does it help empowered team members make a real difference, it builds an environment and network of modern communications within your organization, that essentially takes care of itself.
A Booming Social Trend You Need to Know
Hands down, a modern and holistic customer experience should be a major component of any digital or social strategy. If you wish to survive in today’s hyper-digital, hyper-mobile, and remarkably fast-paced world, you must be able to deliver a superior customer experience that reaches any and all touchpoints. That’s not to leave out personalized interactions, tailored for smaller or individual audiences.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the surface cracks of delivering a social campaign and modern customer experience. That is, forgetting the foundation or core tenets of successful customer experience strategies which lie dormant underneath. First, social engagement must start at a core, company-wide and collaborative level. Then you must develop fully integrated and seamless customer interaction and communication channels.
Customer experience and social must be tied together to service the generation of now in today’s market.
Social Touchpoints Must Exist
As mentioned above, it’s not just about delivering engaging and convenient customer experiences - although those are aspects to remain aware of. It’s more about the seamless access or availability of those experiences, across a variety of touchpoints; namely social and mobile.
Without touchpoints in general, you remain separated from your audience and customers. Conventional touchpoints make this a little better and easier, such as a brand website, for example, by allowing customers to access information or the ability to purchase your product or service on their own terms. Again, said touchpoints are important but there’s still something missing. Without social touchpoints there’s just no way to actually connect with customers.
Your brand, effectively gains access to modern communications through the internet, social networks, and even email by establishing those infamous “social touchpoints”.
There are currently 2.8 billion global social media users, the equivalent of 37% of the world’s population. Imagine being locked out from all of that; being unable to access those channels and audiences? If you don’t establish social touchpoints in variable facets of your business, you surely will be.
The Power of Social Communities Is Vast
Like the term “customer experience,” the phrase social touchpoint is mind-bogglingly broad. The obvious reach is via social networks like Facebook or Twitter. But social touchpoints are about more than that, they’re about communicating directly with audiences and customers.
Socially inclusive programs can have a powerful impact across internal and external groups among your organization.
When you need to reach a customer through modern communication channels or platforms, there’s just too much noise. There are too many channels and portals to sort through, too much data to pour over.
The answer to this problem, however, is remarkably simple.
Modern social networks, forums and discussion boards, real-time chats and much more allow you to do one thing, reach out directly to your customers and audience. More importantly, they empower your customers and encourage them to do the seeking. That’s why instant messaging is such a huge part of the modern customer experience strategy. Customers have the option to reach out when they want, to whom they want, and engage in a personalized, direct, meaningful conversation even with the largest brands out there. You also have the opportunity to gain meaningful feedback from your audiences thanks to the increasing popularity of “hauls” and brand reviews by brand ambassadors on Youtube.
You can promise the most unprecedented features and support out of the entire business world, but it won’t get you anywhere if you don’t know how to engage or resonate with your audience. Believe it or not, that includes your sales or commission-based teams.
Customers not only want to engage with salesmen and business teams on a more personal level, they want to see that personality and humanity engrained in everything they do. By creating an ongoing funnel of socially relevant topics, sales teams can quickly pull and grab and share company initiatives in a more relatable way. Combined with customer engagement social, you can effectively create a web for social listening to strengthen customer relationships.
Employees and Internal Teams
Finally, that same concept permeates to the rest of your organization and team. The average customer wants to see your brand’s personality. They want to “feel” that social presence and engage with it. They want to become a part of a social experience and event, sometimes even crafted for them specifically.
And if your customers want that, you better believe your employees and internal teams want that too. They want to belong. Social touchpoints and social experiences, even internally, offer your workforce the kind of network and collaboration that will help your business thrive and create a more well-rounded, open ecosystem.
Brand Recognition and Brand Awareness Correlate with Social Presence
In the end, recognition, awareness, and exposure are all possible for your brand via a modern social presence. In fact, you could argue that an active presence has a direct correlation with success, across big and small businesses alike.