What Are Your Customers Doing Online?
You know potential and current customers are flocking to social media (Facebook alone boasts more than half a billion active users.) And you know the brand needs to be on those sites to connect with customers. But it can be challenging to create a profit-building social media plan unless we learn why customers use social networks to interact with businesses and other consumers. Here are just 3 reasons they’re using social media:
Informed buying decisions
From review and rating websites to Facebook comments, customers are checking out what others think of your products, your customer service, in short, your brand. And it’s not just end users who turn to the web when it’s time to break out the wallet. In a Forrester study of more than 1,000 technology buyers, they found that technical support forums were one of the top social options for driving purchase decisions.
Brands have plenty of options when it comes to leveraging a consumer’s desire to learn more about a product. For example, create an extensive library of content that makes your site the go-to place for information about your industry. Or consider building a brand community that fosters relationships between the company and the customers as well as relationships among the customers themselves.
Warn other consumers
About 85% of customers who leave a negative brand comment on social media sites do so to warn others about the downfalls of doing business with that company, according to one study. It’s a new take on the old adage that a satisfied customer tells 3 people while an unsatisfied customer tells 10—except now a negative comment might be read by hundreds or thousands.
For businesses, that means a comprehensive social media monitoring plan is a must. With reliable listening tools and experienced human analysis, you can mitigate problems before they become full-blown crises.
Access specials and promotions
Almost 80% of social media users connect with brands via networks to get information about deals, specials, promotions, or special events, according to a comSCORE/TMP Directional Marketing study.
For example, a restaurant might tweet the soup of the day or a doctor’s office might post info on Facebook about an upcoming flu vaccine clinic. Brands can use in-office staff to handle these communications or hire an outsourced team with extensive social media know-how.