Keeping customers engaged these days means mastering social media, email and loyalty programs. Here's how to get the most out of these approaches to interacting with your customers - and keep your small business growing.
Keeping customers engaged with social media
Engaging with customers through your social media accounts - like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. - involves more than just posting fresh content regularly (though that's certainly the foundation). You also need to stay on top of their interactions, maybe using digital tools to help you do so.
Responsiveness is the key with social media, and most social media users expect a response within an hour. Tools like Sprout Social track the quickness of your responses to your "inbound engagement." Because you can't spend every waking hour at your computer, make sure you respond when you're on the move. Set mobile apps to alert you with notofications whenever messages come in to your company social media accounts.
Keeping customers engaged with email
Email remains an excellent way to stay engaged with your customers, while providing new info on products and services. Make it simple and obvious to sign up for your emailing list. Give customers compelling reasons to give up their e-mail addresses for future communications.
Clean up your buttons and links in your emails, and display a prominent action button. Put important information at the top of the message, keep the message text-light with bullet points and use links to internal pages for additional information.
Mix up your emails, too, hitting customers with product announcements, discount offers and reminders. Informative e-letters on what your company offers, industry news, upcoming events and customer successes can seal the deal.
Keeping customers engaged with loyalty programs
The customers you have now spend way more than new ones. It's well worth your time to reward loyalty and keep current customers coming back, but you're going to have to get creative to stay engaged.
Personalized programs - where you give your customers a chance to create their own loyalty program - might really amp up their willingness to participate. Try partnering with complementary businesses or others in your neighborhood, creating a package of exclusive perks for your customers. Companion offers, giving customers the chance to bring a friend along, exposes your business to a new potential buyer.
Why not give your customers a chance to give through a charity-keyed loyalty program? Pick a charity or foundation you think matches your business in some way, especially one that aims to improve the community where your business operates.