We were all told through impressive statistics, researched articles and experts in the field that Social Media is a crucial element of success to any American company in the 21st century. So we did what was necessary: We started posting on Facebook and ran ads and promotions to increase our “like”-ability. But after all that hard work and media seed money –how does this all translate to dollars? How, can you leverage your “likes” into actual business transactions?Welcome to customer engagement, the next chapter in using Social Media for Business Development.
User engagement invites your fans and users to directly interact with your brand. This might seem like waste of time –How is asking fans their favorite color going to make me more money?!- but if done correctly is often seen to increase sales, loyalty and ratings.
A great example is Microsoft Outlook who recently was facing support and satisfactions issues. In an internal survey it was disclose that 64% of their partners were less than satisfied and 62% requested better support. What did Microsoft do? They ran a customer engagement campaign aimed at creating relationships and starting conversations with their customers through social media. At the end of the campaign they saw a 15% increase in their satisfaction ratings within the first year and 17% in the second year. And, their website received a 400% increase in traffic. Mission accomplished.
But, in truth, most of us do not have the same means, resources or partnerships as Microsoft. So how does this story and these tactics relate for small business owners and/or personal brands?
Personal brands can easily to run highly successful customer engagement initiatives because they often entail a strong personal identity and purpose. Aligning yourself with people who identify with your brand and its purpose by running creative promotions and campaigns is a great way to create and nurture your fan base.
Any small business owner knows the value of a loyal and return customer. Not only do loyal customers keep your business alive but they will constantly refer new business as well.
So how do you do it? Below are over 30 ideas and most successful strategies for running customer engagement campaigns. Find one that works well for your business and its mission and enjoy getting to know your fans better!
SpoltightFeature your customers in Newsletters/Blogs
Make Yourself Accessible
What charities to support
Asking favorite flavors or products
What they would like to see on social media pages
Likes and dislikes
Collaborating on product / service design
Voting on Most Favorite Things
Voting on a popular social question
Voting on favorite ads
New design features
Co-creation of Products / Services
Outfit design combinations
Pictures of Customers with Products
New Application Introduction / Usage
Creating customized holiday cheer cards
Ordering products (even for local delivery)
Local store locator
Use of Videos
Local, regional activities
Free products to entice Facebook fan signup
Special rates for Facebook fans
New product introduction
Share product/articles from magazines
Targeted messages to customer groups/segments
Special business events