Social Media can help your company in many ways, but one of the benefits that many marketers fail to recognize is that of getting to know your customers and their behavior better.
Sure it’s great to have success with a coupon campaign or receive a slew of retweets for a Twitter promotion, but when we think about long tail success it’s all about understanding your customer base.
One of the mistakes people make on Twitter in particular is forgetting to explore. By searching the very hashtags you are using in your own posts you can find plenty of users out there interested in the same topics – and when you combine that with geo-regional tags you can drill right in to your own city, or even your own neighborhood.
When you find these glowing examples of likeminded neighbors, take a moment to explore who they are, who they follow, who they retweet and who they bash. If they look like a perfect customer, give them a friendly shout out – send an @ message agreeing with something they tweet, invite them to visit your shop, retweet something you agree with, sprinkle their timeline with faves, give them a follow if they look interesting or influential. Maybe they’ll return the favor! The loyalty of a new customer acquired through direct personal contact with your brand is definitely worth the two minutes it takes.
Once you’ve established the connection, maintain it! Keep a private list of “loyal customers” and regularly groom your list. Feeling special will bring those customers back time and again, and will keep your brand in their mind when they make recommendations to friends and family. A great way to maintain this connection is to glance at your “loyal customer” list timeline once a month or so and just send out a slew of friendly @ responses to posts that you also personally identify with. If somebody tweets “Beautiful day, fun time at the park with the grandkids!” tweet back, “we went to the park today too! Isn’t Austin the best this time of year?”
It’s just the sort of pleasant back and forth that so many feel is lacking in modern society – isn’t it funny that the technology brought to us by the social media boom is what is bringing it back.
This ongoing relationship is a special sort of communication that is still new – it lacks the face to face intensity of meeting somebody in person, but what it lacks in physicality it gains in the ease of communication. There is no awkwardness, the contact is fleeting enough to be comfortable yet personal enough to plant that golden seed of brand loyalty we are all working toward as marketers.
Tend your garden of potential customers thoughtfully and they will surprise you with the level of intimacy they will share with you. It all bends toward positive results – more customers, happier customers, loyal customers. That’s a win, in my book.
Have a Twitterific day!