In our increasingly social climate, traditional marketing and customer service has needed to evolve. When the target audience is only required to sit through five seconds of an advertisement before being able to skip to their desired YouTube video, or no longer having to sit through television commercials with services such as Netflix, direct marketing is increasingly becoming a thing of the past.
The death of direct marketing campaigns has meant a push to social interaction: the need to talk to your target audience instead of talking at them. Believe it or not, this is one of the most beneficial developments in business to consumer (B2C) relations. Engaging directly with the target market through social mediums offers more accurate information, upon which to build a successful marketing campaign, increased brand loyalty, and therefore sales.
Customer Engagement and Social CRM
Customer engagement does not start with a flashy advertisement anymore, it begins with a personable relationship achieved through superior customer service. The only way to effectively manage your engagement with your target market is through your social networks and through the use of Social CRM software. What social CRM tools help you achieve is an open dialogue with your target market. A good social CRM tool will help you monitor all of your social networks and will organize the information in a sensible and coherent way. This will allow you to respond more directly to potential customers, to address queries or concerns in an efficient manner, as well as to be able to more effectively target these categorized groups with specialized marketing techniques.
For example, when you are targeting a dissatisfied group, you will be able to offer free motivational items to encourage them to try your company again, despite their negative experience, and work to ensure that the problem is dealt with and hopefully never occurs again. For those who seem to be on the fence, you can target them with incentives like discounts or BOGOF (Buy One, Get One Free) offers with a purchase in order to sway their indecision. Or with satisfied customers that have completed a purchase, you can offer them loyalty coupons in order to encourage repeat business.
If you haven’t been embracing your social media platforms and aren’t even sure where to start, you first need to work on building your social media presence. There is absolutely no way around this. Not to mention that with just over two billion active social media accounts recorded globally, social media platforms are the largest marketing resource currently available and if you aren’t tapping into it, you are missing out on a world of opportunity. The ability to access new customers and expand the reach of one’s business through these social platforms is almost limitless.
Brand Loyalty and Customer Experience
Contrary to what businesses have thought in the past, the sale does not end at the POS (point of sale) or online checkout. If you do not follow up with customers after securing a sale, you are missing out on an abundance of information that can not only help you improve your customer engagement tactics, but it can help to secure brand loyalty and ensure that a customer keeps coming back for repeat business.
Social CRM tools essentially help to quantify the sales performance, which can be adopted for a truly successful marketing strategy.