By John McDonald, an EO Winnipeg member and president of Canada’s Web Shop.
Customer retention is often more important than new customer acquisition. Did you know that a new customer is up to 7x as expensive to obtain as a current customer is to retain, and as a result, utilizing all available tools to keep customers is essential?
One such tool is social media. Whereas social media is often lumped into the same category as other conventional advertising media such as print or television, it can (and must) be much more than that. Due to its multi-directional capabilities, social media is an excellent tool to retain customers.
Given the opportunity and unlimited resources, any business would love the opportunity to stay in front of their client base 24/7. Having a representative of the business with clients constantly would allow the business to troubleshoot any issues before they developed into the customer leaving the business, and also to upsell when the opportunity arose.
Users of Web sites such as Twitter and Facebook are increasingly sharing more and more of their lives through these social media outlets, and as such, products and services that are part of their lives are also referenced. A 2010 by ExactTarget found “39 percent of Facebook users who become fans do so to publicly display their brand affiliation to friends.”
Using the proper tools, it is possible to find a user who is currently using your product or has recently visited your storefront and is now sharing their experience with the world. Businesses who utilize social media to strengthen customer loyalty will start a conversation with this user, either thanking them for their words if the comment was positive, asking them how the experience could be improved if the experience was negative, or offering additional information if information was requested.
The Internet is full of examples of businesses that exhibited great customer service and therefore increased customer loyalty through social media. The important thing is not to simply sign up for a Twitter account and start searching for your company’s name in the social media sphere, but to have clear guidelines and goals attached to your social media project. Doing so will increase how efficient your time spent on social media is, (as it is quite easy to spend a lot of time on Facebook,) but also help you to know when you are successful. Take this advice, and your ROI from social media marketing should prove it to be an invaluable resource.