March 03, 2014

Turning Your Social Media Followers into Loyal Customers

Since the advent of social media, companies have been clawing their way to the surface to acquire more followers on various platforms. Between the race to gain more “likes,” “shares,” and “repins,” the relation between social media followers and branded glory has become so serious that such things as Twitter follower buying sites have now become commonplace.

But what happens after the customer stops hovering the mouse over the “follow” button, for example, and actually presses it? This is the most crucial, hold-your-breath moment for a brand. The customer has willingly decided to give you a try. There was something about your brand that inspired them enough to want to see more—mission accomplished, right?

If you’ve been thinking this way then you may want to reconsider. That’s because a study commissioned from Kentico reveals that 68 percent of customers say they “mostly” or “always” ignore brand posts on every social network. Just like any acquisition strategy, customer onboarding must be followed with a plan to ensure that the deal has been officially sealed. Customer acquisition and retention strategies are two completely separate entities, and they are both equally important. 

So in reality, you could have tens of thousands of Twitter followers and it won’t mean a thing. It could just be every marketer’s worst nightmare.

But don’t forget that customers can simply un-follow a brand. So, why do they choose to continue following brands that they typically ignore? Participants of the study shed light on why:

  • 40 percent say that they just “want to be kept informed” but have no particular interests.
  • 39 percent were coaxed by social-exclusive deals and discounts.
  • 12 percent followed a brand because a company they are currently loyal to recommended it.

It just goes to show that those seemingly smart tactics of offering amazing contests—that customers can’t enter for a chance to win until they “like” a Facebook page—or only offering customers that exclusive 75 percent off clearance sale when they follow you is not that smart or savvy after all. Sure, your social statistics will look better, but it doesn’t make a lasting impact.

There is one thing you can do to ensure that the followers you get on social media (no matter how you attain them) actually pay attention to you on social media—invest in a content strategy vendor.

You’ve likely heard this numerous times before and you’ll be told again: creating a robust social media presence is a full-time job. It’s about consistently posting content and, more importantly, posting valuable, relatable and sharable copy. A wide spectrum of careers is emerging in social media and content strategy to cater to these needs. In fact, nearly half of companies are now outsourcing their content needs—including their social media management—to third-party content strategy vendors in 2014. If you haven’t invested yet with a content strategy vendor, then you need to get onboard now. The fact that almost 70 percent of social media followers actually ignore brands’ posts makes it more than clear that companies are having trouble managing content on their own.

It may seem harsh, but that’s because they can’t. Companies may be able to get the “like,” but without the support of a full-time content strategy vendor, they’re not keeping the interest level up. Are you a part of the 68 percent of companies with plans to invest in a content strategy vendor this year?

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