As a brand in the digital era, social media presence is crucial as it helps you with customer relations and can be used to increase your reach. One of the best ways you can leverage on this is by actively engaging with your customers on your brand’s platforms. Having a ton of followers is great, but you can do so much more by interacting with your audience and connecting with them on a deeper level, rather than simply through posting content for them to view.

But what exactly can you gain from taking the effort to interact with your audience? And why can it be considered as one of the most effective ways to build on your social media following and improve brand loyalty?

  1. It reflects your brand’s dedication
Source: Bored Panda

It speaks well of your brand that you are willing to take the time to connect with your followers and understand their needs and wants that way. In fact, research done by Twitter has shown that 77% of users who reach out to brands on social media feel more positively about said brand when they receive a reply. 75% are likely to even take to sharing their positive experiences with others on social media! It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have someone sharing and advocating your brand’s products and services.

  1. It builds brand awareness

Engaging with your audience on social media can also help to leverage on the attention your brand receives to improve brand awareness and recall. If you establish your brand as an engaging and active one, and if you do it the right way, you’ll find that your brand might start to become even more relevant among consumers, helping you to reach out to new audiences. Take Wendy’s, for example.

It goes without saying that the popular American fast food chain has cemented itself as an extremely engaging brand, what with all its witty comebacks and sassy comments made towards competitors and fans online. Wendy’s followers even anticipate its cutting remarks when observing other fast food brands attempting to throw similar shade at it, as seen in this thoroughly entertaining and well-executed burn-fest between Wendy’s and Burger King. (Image source: boredpanda.com)

The humorous interactions have even gained the attention of various well-known news and entertainment sites, such as Buzzfeed, Forbes and WatchMojo. Wendy’s was already well-known for their fast food as one of the main fast food giants in America, but they took that reputation to the next level by really engaging with their competitors and followers, making themselves known for their comebacks and Twitter roasts. Needless to say, the attention garnered by Wendy’s from the situation shows how engaging with your audience on social media can build upon existing brand awareness effectively by giving people something more than the products or services your brand offers to remember when they think of your brand.

  1. It increases your consumers’ trust in your brand

According to SproutSocial, 34.5% of consumers prefer to reach out to brands for customer services via social media, with the other 65.5% being divided among smaller platforms such as email, website, store and phone. Most agree that social media is their preferred method. However, a whopping 89% of social messages don’t receive responses – this, combined with the fact that 30% of consumers would turn to a competitor if they don’t receive a response, means that deciding not to interact with your followers will very likely lose you many customers.

On the flipside, customers who have experienced positive interactions are 70% more likely to make a purchase with a brand again, and 65% of them will have strengthened brand loyalty. As mentioned earlier, 75% of them are also likely to share about their positive experience with your brand on social media, which could extend your brand’s reach. In this way, it can be seen as clear as day that responding to your followers can do wonders to help you retain customers and a good reputation as a brand. Here’s a great interaction between the airline JetBlue and one of their customers that you can take as an example!

When one of their customers tweeted to express their disappointment with their TV being spoilt throughout the 4 hours of his flight on JetBlue airlines, the airline replied to him on Twitter to empathise with his situation and to understand it better.

Source: Twitter

The customer replied to explain, and JetBlue responded on the same day to offer compensation for the situation in the form of credit for the inconvenience the customer had experienced.

Following this, the customer tweeted to express his appreciation for the brand’s service.

Source: Twitter

The interaction even got the attention of the marketing blog, Buffer, which praised JetBlue’s ability to provide quality customer service through social media interactions.

It can be seen from JetBlue’s initiative in responding to their customers that they care about their customers, and are willing to make the effort to show it through their social media platform and in their interactions with the followers. In return, their customers feel stronger for them and have a stronger dedication to the brand. This goes a long way in maintaining your brand’s customer relations and improving brand loyalty.

Essentially, engaging with your customers can really help to improve your brand’s image and its standing in terms of customers’ choice when it comes to choosing a service or product. It may take additional effort, time and money, but it goes a long way in showing your brand’s commitment to providing the best customer experience.

After all, we are all social creatures who love a bit of tender loving attention. 🙂

 

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Hero image: Pratik Gupta, Unsplash

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