Four Ways to Use Social Listening to Boost Customer Loyalty

By Samir Palnitkar

Social listening, also known as social monitoring, has become an essential way for businesses to help create customer loyalty in a whole new way. Social media is the mountaintop from which your consumers shout, whether to praise or vilify. And, if they’re talking about your business, you can bet your bottom dollar you don’t want to miss it.

The reach of a positive social post gone viral is almost invaluable, and a proper (if necessary) response to a negative social post can be the best marketing you never paid for.

Here are four ways you can keep your head in the game and harness the power of social listening to stay at the forefront of your customers’ minds.

  1. Be more nimble and quick than Jack over the candlestick

We are in the age of lightning-fast technology, and our patience is MIA. By the time someone posts an inquiry on social media, he wants the answer… yesterday.

How impressive, then, for a company that’s hip to social monitoring to hop right on and immediately offer an answer to a question, a solution to a problem, or, better yet, a link to everything the questioner ever needed (your website). And don’t forget: Others will also see your social responses.

That’s how you can acquire and retain customers in one fell swoop. Facebook even notes on business pages how fast (on average) the business owner replies to messages:

A customer feels valued and confident in your competency if you are quick to communicate. Customers wouldn’t hesitate to message The Find Auctions on Facebook upon seeing they’d likely to get a quick response from the company.

  1. Use ‘bait’ to inculcate loyalty

Mention how much you love us on social media? Have some reward points! Give us a raving review online? Have some bonus bucks! Brag about us on your blog? Here’s a coupon code!

What some might call bribing, we call giving incentive. Think “checking in” to your store on Facebook for a 10% discount. Another commonly used tactic is prompting fans to share, follow, or like your page on social media in return for a chance to win a contest.

  1. Emotional engagement is everything

Think about it. The more someone positively engages with you and your personal posts, the more often you think of them and the more highly you regard them. It works the same way with your customers. If they know you’re thinking of them, they will most certainly be thinking of you, too.

In only the most genuine ways, emotionally connect with your customers. Like (or “love,” or “haha,” or “WOW”) their photos. If they comment on your post, reply back in a personal way. If you get an item in stock you just know they’ll love, reach out and let them know. Be their friend:

  1. Understand your customers well

If you make it a point to listen to your customers on social media, you will have a strong understanding of what they are wanting, needing, feeling, and shying away from. You will become more adept at catering to the current trends in your niche if you are studying your customers from a social perspective.

People tend to speak their mind on social media, and it’s an opportunity to meet them where they are. They are sure to remain loyal to a brand that always seems to have their best interest in store. Let them know you’re listening. Acknowledge their thoughts, ideas, and suggestions, and make use of those suggestions whenever you can—then tell them that you did!

A great place to listen to your customers is Pinterest, where people “pin” their favorites among the latest and greatest trending items.

 

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