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If one of your business goals this year is to build customer loyalty and retention, then customer engagement on social media is a must. Engagement drives social media success. It will allow you to build trust and to connect on a deeper level with your customers, suppliers, key stakeholders and everyone who is part of your community.

Your customers want to hear from you, they don’t want to be ignored and at the same time they don’t want to be bombarded by marketing and sales messages because doing that certainly won’t build trust, it will have the opposite effect and turn people away.

We’re wired to connect and be social and as much as this sounds like fun, it must be implemented strategically and managed well so you can deliver business outcomes.

According to the 2016 Sensis Social Media Report, 52 percent of consumers are more likely to trust a brand if they interact with their customers in a positive way on social media.

Here are four ways to increase customer engagement

Continue the conversation after the first transaction

Focus on building relationships with your customers. It doesn’t matter if a customer buys from you once or you work with them for one year; focus on personally connecting and engaging with them. Get to know them, start conversations and do what you can to support them. We all like to communicate in different ways. Some of us favour email, some of us prefer phone calls, others SMS or perhaps your customers like to connect via Facebook Messenger whatever their preference, make sure you’re there and communicating with them authentically and openly. Be where your customers are and make it easy for them to engage and communicate with you. Don’t focus on the transactions, instead focus on the customer relationships.

Get to know your customers on a personal level

To boost engagement get to know your customers on a personal level. Now I’m not saying to dive into their lives and get to know everything. What I mean here is to ask them how they are, ask them about their family, about their weekend. Start conversations and get to know more about your customers. Your customers are people, they’re not numbers on a spreadsheet. Get to know and understand what they like, what drives them, take the time to invest in them.

To increase customer engagement, build relationships

Invest time in your customers and build relationships with them, this will build trust, credibility and you’ll be top of mind when your customers are ready to buy. Kindness and generosity go a long way in business and life. Emotionally connected customers will be more satisfied with your customer experience, more likely to do business with you over a longer period of time and will be more likely to invest more too.

Provide a seamless customer experience

It doesn’t matter if a customer walks into your business, calls you on the phone or interacts with you on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram, they expect the same experience at every touch point. They expect to be taken care of in the same way every single time they interact with you online or offline. Your brand and your customer experience must be seamless and consistent across all areas of your business. Adopting an extraordinary customer experience will allow you to deeply connect with your customers.

Social media is a communication tool and a customer service tool. Using it to build relationships with those that matter the most will allow you to build solid relationships that will enrich your life and grow your business.

How do you build relationships with your customers? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Debra Sinclair | Business | April 5, 2017 | customer engagement

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