How to Increase Customer Retention and Loyalty with Social Media

Knowing how to apply loyalty-best practises to your social media marketing will increase customer retention and long-term loyalty.

On average, a brand will send out 23 promotional messages on social media for every one response they give to their audience, despite customers often wanting to interact with them.

When this breakdown occurs, customer spending and brand loyalty decreases.

More and more businesses are turning away from the ‘spray-and-pray’ method of getting their message out – sending out numerous posts and hoping that one makes an impact on the audience and increase customer retention


Knowing how to apply loyalty-best practises to your social media marketing will increase customer retention and long-term loyalty.

When it comes to ‘knowing your customers’, airlines and hoteliers set the benchmark for knowing and recognizing their customers.

With airlines recognising ‘frequent fliers’ and hotels often upgrading the rooms of guests based on their status, these have proven to be effective methods of recognition.

While the digital versions of these policies aren’t as expensive, they can yield a similar impact on the customer.

The first thing to do is to recognise your loyal client online. If you can capture their social media information and other self-identifying information, like an email address, your database can connect the two.

You could also include a form where customers can include their details voluntarily, as opting in to a database makes customers feel in control.

Once you can establish who your customers are on social media, you can begin to recognise them. You’ll be able to actively monitor for particular keywords or social action you can act on, strengthening the business-customer relationship and increase customer retention.

One-to-one communicating is growing more and more important, as clients are beginning to become pickier of whom they do business with.

For example, if you find out that a customer at your business is subscribed to see your database and is a loyal, frequent customer, your system can recognise this. You can then send them a personalised email; complete with a free voucher for something in-store.

In fact, 84% of customers would spend more with retailers who offer programs that reward clients for their social and other non-purchase actions.

Continually decreasing attention spans and less available time has meant customers are demanding greater utility from brands. Brands that oblige and provide this ability have seen greater loyalty and customer lifetime value, increase customer retention.

Modern brands must start connecting the channels where consumers spend time to their existing businesses and processes. These channels can then provide them with utility and increase customer retention.

The most obvious example of this is the transformation of the smartphone, from the mobile phone, to small computer, capable of searching the web and reaching out over social media.

At the end of 2015, 68% of Americans owned a smartphone, on which they spent most of their time on it on social media platforms. Three-quarters of American women interact with a brand multiple times a week, via a digital platform – most often smartphones.

A key tip for mobile marketing campaigns is to restrict the quantity of offers. Distributing offers too frequently dilutes the sense of urgency you might otherwise be able to create in the minds of customers

There is a clear opportunity for marketers to use social media to turn these phones into a portal where they can talk exclusively with customers.

Successful ideas for creating value in exchange for social participation and loyalty include inviting them to private VIP events; free upgrades, or sneak peeks at new or exclusive viral content.

The key thing to remember when you brainstorm campaign ideas is, ‘Would I continue interacting with this company in exchange for this reward?’ If the answer is no, scrap the idea and move on to the next thing.

As with any marketing program, you will need to include measurements so you can gauge your results and success. Brands should outline metrics and goals for:

  • Engagement and Conversation: Measure and benchmark what rewards work best for your brand and what social platforms and actions drive the most engagement, conversation, and earned media in the form of valuable impressions.
  • Customer Acquisition: Participation within loyalty programs when social media is included has proven to help brands acquire more customers. How does your social loyalty customer acquisition compare?
  • Ongoing Participation: Frequency of interaction can be a self-reinforcing loop of participation, engagement, loyalty and advocacy. As a result, brands should look to measure participation rates as a forward-looking measure of loyalty and accuracy.
  • Brand-Specific Goals: by linking social IDs to their CRM or e-commerce system, brands can measure business-specific outcomes, such as in-store sales, basket size

    repeat visits and more.

 

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