4 steps to enhance your Social Media Presence
Brands having an established social media presence receive greater level of loyalty from their customers.

80% of consumers are more likely to consider the same brand again if they have a positive first purchase experience. But with the enormous competition, this positive experience is a fine line of trust that holds your customer loyalty. Just one lucrative offer from your competitor can break the bond and your customers would be gone forever if he gets satisfaction with the new brand. So, you not only need to provide a better service, but you also need to have better plans to retain your customer's loyalty even when they are not making a purchase for a long time. Investing time in building loyalty with your customers is amongst the best long-term investments you could make for your business.

Studies have shown that almost everyone born after the early 1980's has access to one or other social media platform today, while, a majority of people born earlier than that are also very comfortable using these platforms. Therefore, if you are hoping to make a lasting bond with your customers, you must implement Social Media Marketing strategies to stay connected with your customers.

Here is a 4 steps guide to help you create value and encourage customer loyalty:

Design a Social Media Marketing Strategy

First, you must understand "why would your customer or prospect follow you through their social profiles". Is it because you can provide discount coupons to them through this channel, or provide information related to your products/services or because you are a source of motivation for them to have better lives. If you cannot think of a reason, here is one for you - Make your company accessible to your customers beyond the level your website provides. Show them how much harder you work for your customers, how well your employees are treated so that they can serve your better, how much you care about the environment or other social causes and most importantly how much better your company is compared with your competitors.

While, you might be tempted, do not use your social profiles to directly sell anything, instead provide value information to your followers and build a reputation. Social Media is not a channel for ecommerce. Design an effective marketing strategy that provides your customers with value information as the main reason for staying in connection with you. Meanwhile you can work out and find many ways to update your customers about your products/services without aggressively promoting them.

Create a group or community around your brand

The best way to create a community on social media is by teaming up with other similar businesses that are not your direct competitors but offer related products/services that can be of interest to your customers. For example, a shoe shop might connect with apparel store, cosmetics shop and hand bags store on social channels. This not only helps your customers get to know about more products and services, but also you get to reach the wider audience (customers of your connected businesses).

Reward your loyal followers

You can design a contest, a quiz or a survey to let your customers participate and interact with you and reward the winners. The most common practice of rewarding customers is by asking them to recommend your social profiles to their network of friends. And as a reward you offer them discount coupons, free tools, free membership or any other benefits. Whenever you reward a customer, do not forget to share their experience on your network. This encourages more customers to participate in such activities and stay connected with you.

Provide customer service

The best way to interact with your customers on social media is by answering their questions or complaints. You can use tools like Raven to track if anyone tags you or mentions you in their posts/comments. Usually the customer who is either very happy or very annoyed with your service would post about you. So, it is important that you keep track of both extremes and use them in favor of your branding. Be available to address to any negative comments by a customers. The best policy is to be honest and make reasonable commitments. Your customers know a lot about your industry to support their expectations. Take the extra step to offer the best customer service possible. It matters the most when building a customer loyalty.

Just as hard you work on designing a great service/product, a great website and a great customer experience, plan an interactive and effective social media presence for your business to ensure your happy customers do not have a reason to leave you.

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