@crisdresch

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Social Media and Customer Engagement Cycle Stages

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As I already said here, social media is a great way to engage with your current and prospect customers, creating a more meaningful relationship that will hopefully lead to higher loyalty and awareness, resulting in increase of sales. Basically this means social media can be influential in any of the customer engagement cycle stages – awareness, interest, conversion and advocacy. But don’t try to do it all! You want to focus in one stage, which will hopefully naturally lead to the others.

So, before starting to use social media it’s necessary to identify which goals you, as a business, is planning to achieve. Let’s check some different scenarios:

1. Returning customers level is low

You managed to achieve one of the most important goals in any business, gain customers! Unfortunately, you’re not keeping them, which is a huge issue. This might be happening because of different factors: (a) your product is not good enough (b) there’s no value to the customer in keeping a relationship with your brand (c) customers are quickly forgetting about you. You can solve any of these issues through social media, by engaging with your customer and asking for feedback. Why not create a channel for customer service, which will be responsible for contacting the customer after one week he purchased from you? This way you make sure he doesn’t forget about you and that he actually enjoys the product. But remember, you need to add value for him as well. Depending on your brand, value can range from offering good content to giving good discount in future purchases.

2. Business needs more clients

Your sales are simply not good enough? And you have already tried reaching to current customers and offering them deals to make sure you increase revenue over one single customer? This might not be enough. You need awareness! People need to know your business exists in order to gain new customers and reach a new audience. Social media is the perfect place for that. First you need to clearly understand who your audience is. Then go through different channels (Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, etc) and find them! You need to know who they are and then create your social media presence around that. Don’t wait for customers to go where you are, you need to go where they are. Then you need to start reaching out to them, don’t be shy; you must be confidence about your product. If you believe it’s going to be beneficial to them, why not? If you’re targeting the right audience, they will thank you for that!

3. Customers are not converting

So, you’ve got traffic but people are not doing what you expected them to do. This sucks. There are so many different possibilities for why this is happening, so first, research. This might be solved without any help of social media. Analytics is the best tool for that. Make sure this is not an usability issue. If it’s not, move on the content strategy. People need to understand what your business is about. Ask friends, family, and colleagues to go through the content and make sure at least they understand what is going on. You might realize your product is not easy to market, and there’s when social media can be a strong player. Social media is a great place to educate people about your product, make people interested. You can do that by creating multimedia content, which always helps with interaction and engagement. Identify people from your company or in the market who can add value, are passionate about the products. If you can’t think of anyone, do it yourself! What a better advocate then the business owner? Of course, don’t be too selly. The whole goal is to educate people and make them interested, and then they need to find the value by themselves.

So what does that mean?

If you work on specific goals your business is trying to achieve, the success in social media is always going to be more measurable and reachable. Again, don’t try to do it all! Hopefully by focusing in one specific stage of the customer’s engagement cycle you will then influence the others, leading to a complete successful cycle achieved through social media.

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Written by Cristina Dresch

June 17, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Posted in Planning, Social, Strategy

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