Building Customer Relationships Using Social Media Marketing for Chicago Businesses: How Does It Work?

There are currently over 3.5 billion active social media users across the globe. 

Sounds astonishing, doesn’t it? To put things into perspective, this figure amounts to a whopping 45% of the population. 

As the most populous city in Illinois, Chicago is home to over two million active social media users. So, while leveraging your website is a great way to build customer relationships with a vast online audience, it’s not enough. 

As social media platforms continue to grow in popularity and reach, the large majority of Chicago businesses have turned to social media marketing to build and sustain a wide customer base. 

If you’ve been struggling to find unique and effective ways to interact with your customers on social media, we’ve rounded up a guide to help you get started!

1. Adopt a Genuine Approach to Engaging With Customers

While most brands have a laser-sharp focus on engaging with their customers, they seldom pay attention to their approach. A generic and superficial approach can not only temporarily put off customers, but can also result in long-term customer attrition. 

Instead, adopt a genuine, cheery, and empathetic approach. As you humanize your brand, customers will engage with your posts more frequently and thus, are more likely to have a wholesome experience.

Starbucks’ interactive and personalized responses are a great example of how to go about this the right way:

Instead of leaving a monotone comment in the affirmative, they engaged the customer with a meaningful and feel-good response.

2. Make the Most of Polls, Contests, and Giveaways!

Have you ever wondered why you’re more likely to respond to a short poll on social media than engage with a long-winded post? 

Attention span. 

According to Time Magazine, humans have an average attention span of eight seconds. 

So, while writing engaging, long posts is a great strategy, make sure you’re not overdoing it. Incorporate more polls into your social media marketing strategy to increase engagement and responsiveness. 

We also recommend making the most of contests and giveaways.

Customers are more likely to participate if there’s a reward at the end. Yes, we hate to admit it, but it’s true. 

Hold contests and giveaways on a bimonthly basis to ensure consistent engagement and build strong customer relationships. Keep the participation rules as engaging as possible to ensure you receive thoughtful responses that can prompt a conversation. 

For instance, many brands request that their followers tag a certain number of their friends in the comments section on a giveaway post. This is something you should avoid at all costs. Instead, request that they share why they would like to win the giveaway, i.e. why they’re interested in using the product/service. 

You’ll receive a plethora of thoughtful responses that you can engage with in an equally meaningful manner!

Foreo’s Women’s Day giveaway is a great example of how to hold a successful contest to strengthen customer relationships:

Notice how they’ve requested that their followers share an image of a woman who has inspired them as opposed to simply tagging friends. These details go a long way in improving brand identity and increasing customer retention.  

3. Don’t Take Too Long to Respond

According to research, approximately 42% of customers expect a response from a brand on social media within an hour. In fact, the customer attrition rate increases by up to 15% for brands that fail to offer a timely response to comments and messages. 

In a nutshell, responding to customers on time is imperative. 

The sooner, the better. 

However, if you can’t get back to them within 24 hours, begin your response with a brief apology for the delay. A simply “We’re sorry for the late response. Thank you for… [continue message]” will do the trick. 

If you’re struggling to improve customer response times, hire SEO experts in Chicago to help you devise an actionable strategy. 

4. Turn the Spotlight on Your Customers

If customers have a positive experience with your products/services, they’re very likely to post about it on social media. They may share a picture/video and tag you on the post or in the comments. 

Keeping an eye out for these posts and actively reposting them on your social media accounts is a great way to turn the spotlight on your customers. Not only will they feel acknowledged, but your followers will also get a glimpse of all your happy customers! 

Chick-fil-A recently reposted an adorable series of pictures of a family enjoying their meal under lockdown. The short and sweet caption is the perfect shout-out! 

5. Don’t Hesitate to Own Your Mistakes

Whether you forget to respond to a customer or accidentally send a curt reply after a long day, own up to your mistakes and make up for them. Instead of covering your tracks, admit the slipup (it happens every now and then) and make amends for it. 

Many brands tend to sweep things under the rug and pretend nothing happened, which can prove to be disastrous in the long run. You’re very likely to get called out for your mistake—publicly, in some cases—and dig a deeper hole for yourself. 

Instead, opt for damage control stat. Offer a complimentary product/service or send a genuine and thoughtful apology. This strategy will go a long way in enriching customer relationships and improving brand identity.

To devise a strong remedial strategy, we suggest making the most of reputation management services and SEO services in Chicago. 

6. Keep Your Promises

If you promised to get back to a customer within a certain time frame, get back to them.Alternatively, if you promised to replace a product/service, replace it

Any time you make a promise to a customer, make sure you can keep it. 

If not, offer a timely response and state that you’ll get back to them with more details shortly. This, however, is a promise in itself so make sure you tend to their query as stated. 

Monzo’s honest admission of their shortcomings is the perfect example of how to handle a similar situation:

Instead of beating about the bush or failing to respond on time, they maintain transparency and promise to get back to the customer shortly. 

Being a brand of your word will ultimately increase your business’ trustworthiness and credibility. Over time, this will play a big role in improving brand reputation!

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