Social Business Zone is brought to you in partnership with:

Director of Online Marketing for Salesforce Work.com. Fascinated with all aspects of digital marketing and social business. David has posted 99 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Why You Need to be Following Customers on Social

06.14.2013
| 883 views |
  • submit to reddit

We all know how much social media has revolutionized both the Internet and the business world, and what kind of impact it’s had on sales. In fact, Duane Morrow, Chief Marketing Officer at Primerica, described social media’s human capital power as the ability “to make your reps superhuman”. So how can you capitalize on those superhuman powers to engage your current customers? By friending or following them all on social media.

Social media is—as its name suggests—primarily a forum to socialize, and it’s a great neutral zone to establish a friendly dialogue with your customers. Suddenly, you and your reps are not just human faces representing a corporation, you’re also connections that can engage them personally in a forum they already inhabit. But how can you harness that social power to build customer retention?

The trick to using social media to build customer retention is to listen to your customers and what they’re saying on social media channels. As Forbes points out, using social channels to sell is almost like being a fly on the wall of your customers, prospects and competitors. The information companies supply on social media channels like LinkedIn and Facebook would be near impossible to come by otherwise. Since social mediums are forums people use both personally and professionally, customers are far less hesitant to complain on social media—and whoever manages their accounts can capitalize on that griping by using the information to sell better to them.

Moreover, social media is an easy way to keep you on your customer’s mind. Send your customers personal direct messages that include incentives and coupons, mention them in statuses, and make sure to share information you think would be relevant to them. That way you’ll be at the forefront of their attention when it’s time to renew their account.

However, in order to properly engage your customers on social media, you need to be sure you sound like someone your customers would be friends with in real life—someone with a casual and warm voice, a friendly and helpful resource they feel comfortable to engage with. That way you avoid the risk of sounding like a big corporation who just hired a young intern to tweet or Facebook for them. Instead, you’ll sound savvy and smart, like someone your customers can go to in any situation.

Published at DZone with permission of its author, David Austin.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)