Although customer retention is cheaper than acquisition, it’s easier said than done. It takes a lot of commitment and dedication to get customers to stay loyal to your business.
In this article, we are going to talk about how to use social media to attract and retain customers.
Customers have multiple options at their disposal. Besides, the competition for customers is fierce these days than ever.
The good thing about social media is that it allows you to build strong connections with your customers.
Note that your best customers will buy products and come back again to buy some more. This means more revenue to your business and stronger relationships with customers.
But how do you keep customers from leaving? What are the best customer retention strategies?
It’s no doubt that you are using social media to engage with your customers. Learning some social media customer retention strategies is, therefore, important for you if you want to acquire and retain buyers.
Customer retention through social media isn’t easier though. Don’t fret because, in this article, you will be able to understand how brands are using social media to connect and retain customers.
Just make sure to implement the strategies you will read from this article.
So let’s get started.
What is customer retention?
Customer retention is the process of engaging existing customers to continue doing business with you and stop switching to your competitor. Customer retention and acquisition are two distinctive processes though because, with the former, you’ve already done business with them while with the later; you are still new to each other.
Implementing proper customer retention strategies can help you build solid relationships with customers who can also become your brand ambassadors.
What is a customer retention strategy?
Customer retention strategies are plans and actions businesses follow to reduce customer turnover.
What’s a good customer retention rate?
The average customer retention rate is below 20% for most industries but for media or finance sectors, the retention rate is over 25%.
Useful social media feature for customer retention
Social media releases new features and technologies that allow marketers to engage and retain customers easily.
Nevertheless, new features come with more challenges. As a social media marketer or online marketer, one needs to stay ahead of the latest trends to avoid getting caught up unawares.
Below, we will talk about how to use the latest social media features for customer retention.
Facebook live video
Given that video consumption is half as much time to consume than written text, 82% of people would prefer to watch a live video than to read a blog post.
For this reason, the latest Facebook feature- Facebook Live has become a powerful tool to promote and market a brand to many people.
Below are ways you can use Facebook Live to engage customers:
- Ignite interest: Although Facebook Live is a powerful tool to engage with your target customers, many marketers are yet to find out how to use it to their advantage. You can use this feature to announce an upcoming event to your target audience.
- Make your live video clutter-free: No one will listen or watch your Facebook Live video if it’s blurred and your voice cannot be heard properly. Make sure everything is clear and your voice is audible enough. Keep the place as silent as possible. It’s better to switch off your mobile phone than to have it ring when you are live on Facebook. Also, make sure your audience can see you well. Check your internet connection to avoid connection problems when you go live.
- Share useful tips and reply to all comments and questions asked by your viewers: The good thing about the Facebook Live feature is that it allows you to check comments as you continue engaging your followers. Make sure to keep your video as convince as possible and also share useful tips.
Instagram stories use principles similar to Snapchat stories and are also a powerful feature for marketers. In fact, growing an audience on Instagram is much easier than on Snapchat. And the good thing about Instagram is that it’s a sister platform to Facebook. This means using Instagram stories properly can help you nurture a huge following.
Unfortunately, marketers are ignoring this powerful tool.
To create engaging stories on Instagram, use these tips:
- Demonstrate your products or services: Instagram stories are helpful when you want to demonstrate and explain how a new product works to your target audience. In fact, targeting your current customers with Instagram Stories is much better given than acquiring new customers is seven times costly than retaining.
- Share “how-to” articles: The importance of shareable content can’t be underestimated. Stories can help you share useful tips and tutorials for people who feel like throwing out when it comes to reading long-form blog posts. New social media features are coming up every day. Marketers need to stay ahead of the trends and learn how to use these features to their advantage.
It’s also worth noting that while these latest features are powerful when it comes to engaging and retaining customers, marketers need to implement effective strategies to realize the benefits of these tools.
Keep reading to learn powerful strategies to improve customer retention with social media.
What are the benefits of customer retention?
Have you ever wondered why many US companies spend more than $2 billion each year on loyalty programs?
This is because customer retention is more profitable.
And to help you understand this better, here are the actual benefits of retaining customers.
Retention is cheaper than acquisition
Yes, it’s as simple as that: Retaining existing customers is more cost-effective than acquiring new ones.
Existing customers are more profitable
Loyal customers buy 90% more regularly and are likely to spend 60% more per purchase. Existing customers are also helpful when it comes to promoting your brand by word of mouth.
It’s important to note that even though loyal customers are more profitable, raising prices too high can chess them away.
Loyal customers provide more feedback
Customer feedback is essential for the success of any business. Feedback helps you come up with ways to improve your business better.
Customers who can give feedback are likely to do business with you repeatedly. A study suggests that customers who have raised their concerns and seen it resolved are 84% less likely to reduce their spending.
Retained customers will forgive you than new ones
Loyal customers are more likely to forgive you in case of a misdeed than new ones. However, you must avoid using this as an advantage.
As you can see, although you should always work on acquiring new customers, you should also not ignore your existing ones.
With that in mind, let’s get into the meat of this article.
Effective strategies to improve customer retention with social media
1. Listen to customers
If you are not aware, customers are going to say more about your business on both the social media channels you use and those that you aren’t.
When you take your time to listen to what they are saying, it will be easier for you to implement strategies to retain them.
Social media can make or break your business given that everyone is free to speak anything they feel about anything. When customers speak something negative about your business, you must know how you can solve the problem before it gets out of hand- but this can only be achieved when you listen to your customers on the social media platform of their choice.
Always listen to your customers, respond promptly and find ways to solve the problems they raise about your business.
2. Use the information you gather to improve customer experience
If you skip step #1 above, it would be hard to proceed with this step. Once you take your time to listen to what customers are saying on social media, you will understand their experiences. This way, you will get more ideas on how to improve your business.
For example, if you are selling digital products, you listen to your customers on social media and find out that customers suggest that your products would be better with additional features; you can work on finding ways on how to integrate those features to keep your customers using them.
If you pay attention to what people are saying, you can have bajillions of information to help you improve your business.
3. Know your customers
People coming to buy from you for the first time or new visitors to your website are anonymous. Even after making a purchase, you will still have little or no information about them.
Social media allows you to connect with your customers and know them individually.
With social media, you can learn the likes and dislikes of your customers, their interests and backgrounds, etc.
The idea is to connect with your customers in a more personal way.
4. Make your business visible on social media
Huh! This is a song you’ve heard several times now. Make yourself visible online; make it easy for your customers to find you on social media, get your business information out there. How many times have you come across this advice?
You will be shocked that many businesses are still not findable on social media yet registering a social media account is free.
Well, some businesses are visible on social media but only on one or two social media platforms. So you think because you have a Facebook and Twitter account you don’t need an Instagram account.
What about your customers who are on other social media? How will they get to know about your business? How will you listen to what they say about your business?
These days, customers are more active on social media and prefer to be engaged there than through emails.
Start by identifying your customers’ social media channels of choice and stay active there
Also, make sure you tell your customers about your other social media networks so that you can take the conversation across channels.
Don’t worry that this is a huge task to execute. Plenty of tools have been developed that allow marketers to engage with customers across social media channels under one dashboard. Take advantage of these tools as you make yourself visible to your prospects and make sure you monitor what they are saying about you.
5. Become a resource of useful information
If you want to improve customer retention with social media, make yourself stand out as a useful hub for information.
Customers who are on social media are looking to learn more about businesses while some are looking for information to solve an issue that’s giving them sleepless nights. If all you can become a resource of useful information you will never struggle retaining let alone acquiring new customers.
Customers build a stronger relationship with businesses that share relevant information and advice with them. You should establish yourself as an authority in your industry by sharing information that customers cannot find anywhere than on your social media profile.
Bonus strategy #1: provide education through your social media accounts
New products are coming up. But not all customers know how to use these products and who knows your customers could be looking for information on how to use or work with the latest products on their businesses or homes.
If you don’t educate them on your products and services they will likely get that education from your competitor. The next thing you see is your customers migrating to your competitor with your notice.
When you listen to your customers on social media, you will know what their pain points are and when you realize that they aren’t getting the hang of the new products you launched recently, you can take that opportunity to educate them through social media.
The good thing about social media is that you are not limited when it comes to educating your customers.
You can go live on Facebook and educate your customers or use Instagram stories to teach your customers something they don’t know about your business.
Bonus strategy #7: provide great customer service
There is no customer retention without good customer service. 32% of customers expect a response within 30 minutes. Besides, the number one reason customers bounce back is that they feel ignored. This means if you take long to respond to customers’ complaints, they will go away.
The good thing about social media is that it offers marketers and business owners a great opportunity to engage with customers in real-time. Take this opportunity to address customer complaints.
It’s been said, and you know it: Retaining customers is cheaper than acquiring new ones but it isn’t as easy as you may think.
It’s astonishing how often businesses lose touch with existing customers in pursuit of new ones. There is probably no better place to engage and retain customers than social media.
We hope these strategies to improve customer retention will help you know what to do with your existing customers as you look for new ones.
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Editor’s note: This article reflects the personal opinions of our guest author.
About the guest author
Alice Jones is a professional social media consultant and freelance writer from San Francisco, CA. She also offers research papers help to students on the internet. Alice graduated with a Master’s degree and concentrates on such subjects as marketing, freelance, business, and consultancy.