How to Develop Brand Loyalty Through Social Media
One of the predominant ways companies benefit from strong social media management is that it develops brand loyalty. This is a process that takes time and requires a successful, long-term strategy, but the reward is worth the effort: loyal customers are repeat customers. Loyal customers also serve as brand advocates, engaging with your brand online and speaking well of it offline. According to a study conducted by Zuberance, brand advocates drive 33% more sales and 18% more traffic than regular customers. The data tells us quite clearly the importance of loyal customers. There are 3 important ways to ensure your social media channels are contributing to the development of brand loyalty among consumers.
First, brands must post valuable content. This provides incentive for consumers to engage with the brand, which increases brand visibility. For example, if you have a skin care product, your customers are interested in the health of their skin – so sharing skin care tips would be relevant and valuable to your followers. Posting valuable content and eliciting engagement consistently, over time, will develop a strong relationship with consumers. This relationship is the basis of brand loyalty.
Additionally, brands must integrate a customer service presence through social media. By having readily available support through Facebook, Twitter, and other social channels, brands show their customers that they care about their experience. Today’s consumers – particularly those of the millennial generation – expect instant gratification. According to Social Habit, 32% of social customers expect a response within 30 minutes; 42% expect a response within 60 minutes. The needs of today’s consumers have evolved and it’s becoming clear that brands must adapt to meet those heightened needs. Consumers want answers now, and they want those answers through social media. Customers will navigate towards the brands that meet those needs.
This is especially important because when consumers are listened to, they feel validated. A guide from NM Incite shows us that 71% of consumers who experience a quick and effective brand response on social media are likely to recommend that brand to others, compared to just 19% of customers who do not receive a response. Brands that are publicly engaging their customers through social media are showing they’re commitment to providing exceptional service, and this is visible for the entire world to see. This level of engagement creates an excellent public perception, instills confidence in consumers, and meets their needs. Customers are happy when their issues have been resolved quickly and they feel heard. Happy customers become loyal customers.
Lastly, focus intently on the customer experience. Visit your brand’s social media pages yourself. Spend time reading content, navigate from one page to another, post, comment, like, tweet, and engage. Write down your impressions and thoughts along your journey. If every single area of engagement was not exceptional for you – from the design, to the content being posted, to your brand’s customer service interactions – then there is room for improvement. Every area must be perfect in order to create the best customer experience possible.
Posting valuable content that is helpful and interesting for customers, as well as having an integrated, active customer service presence will meet the needs of today’s consumers. It creates the foundation for a positive customer experience through social media, which builds brand loyalty and increases your brand’s bottom line.