In January 2016, a feisty redheaded girl began roasting people on Twitter, firing back at her detractors with witty jibes. Her rapid, sardonic takedowns earned her thousands of retweets, likes and views, and it wasn’t long before she shot to Internet fame.
Except this wasn’t your average Twitter user, but a US fast food chain with 2 million followers by the name of Wendy’s.
@bguerns13 edible food
— Wendy’s (@Wendys) January 22, 2016
Our bars are hot like Spicy Chicken, grab a spoon cause the Frosty thick and, grab a seat cause these rhymes are slick.
— Wendy’s (@Wendys) January 5, 2017
Customer engagement, when done right, can be a powerful tool to increase brand awareness, and build loyalty for your business.
After all, a brand’s social media page should not be a mere one-way promotional channel for your owned content and products, but also a thriving channel where you build an authentic, long-lasting relationship with your customers beyond your store. Here’s a cheat sheet to help you master your customer engagement on social!
1. Develop a Community Management Strategy
- Identify the platforms your customers are most active on
- Understand what your customers are using each platform for
- Tailor your strategies to match user behaviour and ensure content delivered is relevant
- For international and regional brands, adapt your content and engagement to your respective market’s user behaviour, language, and peak time period for using social
2. Get #Hashtagging
- Create a unique brand hashtag that your customers can contribute to; this enables you to track user generated content while fostering an online community with your customers
- Monitor the most used hashtags related to your brand and industry, and like or comment on the most relevant posts
- Identify potential brand ambassadors (including influencers and online communities) and collaborate with them to promote your brand or campaign to their followers
3. Create a unique brand personality
- Understand how your competitors position themselves on social and develop a distinct voice for your brand
- Create a style guide for communicating and engaging with your customers on social media
4. Reciprocate, reciprocate, reciprocate
- Comment on posts that mention your brand handle, or use your brand’s hashtag, but don’t intrude
- Repost or share user generated content and credit the person who posted that content
5. Be timely in your responses
- Assign a community manager or social care team to quickly address enquiries, feedback or engagement
- Use chat-bots to automatically respond to your customers on messaging platforms
6. Create relevant and engaging content
- Use insights gathered from social media monitoring to create customer personas to tailor your content to
- Keep track of the political and cultural climate of your market to avoid being overly provocative
- Monitor trending topics related to your brand, but at the same time, don’t try to force your brand onto trends
- Videos that tell your brand’s story in an interesting and informative manner, can boost engagement by leaps and bounds
Optimise your customer engagement strategy by using a social media analytics tool to quickly identify:
- What type of posts are earning the most comments, likes and shares
- Which social media platforms are earning the most engagement in your industry, so you can determine which channels to focus on for content distribution and promotion