Great retention marketing requires an ongoing relationship with your customers. This relationship is cultivated by listening to your customers and keeping them engaged. If they continually have a positive experience with your brand, they may eventually become evangelists for you.
Social media platforms allow retailers to maintain and grow relationships with customers through direct communication. The best way to incorporate social media in your email marketing efforts is through the social connect email. This is an email sent to new customers or newsletter subscribers highlighting your brand’s social media profiles and inviting them to engage with your company on these sites. This communication helps your customers get to know your brand better, and also helps you get a better sense of who they are. Through this kind of engagement you can build customer value, loyalty, and retention.
This email from Ashley HomeStore is a prime example of this type of campaign. The message highlights the brand’s presence on five different social media platforms, along with a brief description of what content and value they provide through each channel. The email invites customers to engage with the brand by joining the conversation on these social media sites. Providing added opportunities for engagement in this way increases the likelihood that the customer will interact with the brand more often and, in turn, purchase again.
Now that you've gotten customers to visit your social media profiles, what's next?
Below are our top four tips for rocking customer retention through social media, along with some real world examples from our clients.
1. POST WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS WANT
Yes, you have awesome products, but you should be sure that your customers know how to use them. Offering tutorials or product education guides via social is one way to influence your customers experience with your products.
Artbeads.com routinely posts video tutorials for crafting projects that can be made using their products. These posts see high engagement rates, showing that their customers are interested in this information and are excited to share this knowledge as well. Bonus? Free advertising as your video gets retweeted, shared, and re-posted.
Your customers want to be a part of a community that extends beyond the products. They want to see useful information that doesn’t directly relate to your products.
GolfHQ uses Facebook to post a great mix of product recommendations and fun, light-hearted posts. They create timely and relevant posts about current events that may be interesting to their audience, such as this list of fun facts about the Master’s Tournament.
2. HAVE CONVERSATIONS
Customers will come to you with concerns, questions, suggestions, and more. Don’t leave them hanging. Address their concerns, answer their questions, and thank them for their suggestions.
Spangler Candy, does a great job of answering questions and fostering a conversation with customers on Twitter. They use an informal, playful tone in many of their responses, as seen below. They even slyly include a product recommendation in the conversation.
3. REWARD ENGAGEMENT
Are your customers sharing their love for your company non-stop? Simply featuring their posts on your page shows that you care and are actually listening to them. EzyDog consistently features customer’s pets wearing their products, using them as “unofficial” brand advocates.
Take this even further by surprising these advocates with some kind of gift, whether it’s a few freebie items or a discount on their next order. Odds are they’ll appreciate it and keep spreading the love.
4. HOST CONTESTS
We all love free, yet meaningful gifts. Figure out what your customers want and run a contest. Have them take pictures and share them on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. Make sure they use a specific hashtag as well, so that’s easier to keep track of all the entries.
You can use these contests to encourage and reward your customers, like TeeTurtle recently did on Instagram.
Now that you've seen some great examples, go have fun and get your customers engaged!