5 ways to leverage social media to better engage customers

engage customers with social mediaEngaging customers through social media is not a trend, it is part of human nature.  People simply want to feel like they have a voice, especially when dealing with a company they do business with.

This quote from  eMarketer reinforces the idea that companies marketing on social media platforms need to take this to heart and make the extra effort to truly engage with their market:

Most businesses have realized that when it comes to social networks like Twitter or Facebook, simply broadcasting content isn’t quite enough. Consumers want companies to engage with them on social networks — not because they want to have a relationship, per say, with a brand of soap or shampoo, but because they appreciate the opportunity to give feedback on products, receive meaningful information from brands, and catch the occasional bargain, among other things.

via The eMarketer Blog.

Simple ways to engage customers with social media:

  1. Actively search Twitter for people asking questions about your niche.  For example search “how do i” [insert industry keywords].  Think of other leading indicators to surface questions and answer them directly.
  2. Set up a blog search alert on Google and respond to any blog posts that mention your company name or brand.  Include a link to your website or social media platform of choice.
  3. Blog about your industry and your market.  Invite customers to comment.  Don’t edit the comments. Don’t hide the comments.  Make the dialogue open and honest.
  4. Setup a site similar to my Starbucks Idea and invite customers to provide innovative ideas.  Make your customers part of the solution.
  5. Reward customers that actively engage with you online somehow.  Don’t make it some formal program.  Make it a surprise and don’t publicize it.  Let them do the promotion for you.  That’s the power of social media

What do you think?  How can companies leverage social media to better engage customers?

Please leave a comment below or on Twitter @steinarknutsen.