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How to cultivate customer relationships through social engagement

Author: Becky Gutte

Social media has the power to elevate and accelerate brands or put their vulnerabilities and missteps into full public view. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn enable consumers to play out their corporate interactions with complete transparency. As more businesses turn to social platforms to engage with their audiences, companies have to think strategically about how to cultivate customer relationships.

Social media isn't just a tool to attract customers; it's a means to engage in community conversation and improve the customer experience. According to Bain & Company, customers spend 20% to 40% more money with companies that engage with them on social media. With the proper training and systems, companies can leverage data-driven insights to develop campaigns and best practices for customer engagement using social media platforms.

How to improve customer experience on social media

SmartInsight's Global Social Media Research Summary for 2020 found that social media users spend an average of two hours and 24 minutes per day across eight social networks and messaging apps. These platforms have come to play a central role in modern life, transforming how people communicate, get their news, build their careers, find opportunities and interact with brands. A robust social media strategy isn't just about posting content across multiple sites but also listening to and joining relevant conversations as they happen.

Consumers are talking about brands on social media, whether those brands engage or not. Interacting with those conversations is a valuable opportunity for marketers to influence their direction and shape the outcomes. Social engagement provides a continuous source of feedback to companies about customers' emotions, opinions and needs. Armed with those insights, brands can mitigate problems before they become crises, manage their reputations, keep customers informed and provide solutions to customer queries. When thinking about how to improve customer experience on social media, companies have an opportunity to improve the customer experience overall.

If a newly launched product has a bug or missing feature, for instance, companies can quickly and easily get that feedback and adapt accordingly. If a customer is dealing with a customer service issue or loves a new advertising campaign, social media serves as a path for that dialogue. Engaging on social media lets customers know that a brand cares and is responsive to them, which is a key part of how to cultivate customer relationships. Monitoring feedback on social media enables companies to increase customer advocacy by creating a direct line of communication for their needs to be conveyed and addressed.

How AI can be used to enhance social engagement

Social engagement, delivered as software-as-a-service, uses natural language processing and trend analysis to highlight relevant public social media posts that are important to brands. Social engagement gives brands the tools to listen, engage, perform analyses and generate outbound campaigns across social channels. Powered by AI, brands can use these tools to track sentiment and understand language, emotion, slang and sarcasm with smart monitoring and find trending topics related to the brand or market. These tools also enable deeper engagement by cultivating meaningful one-to-one interactions with consumers and influencers. Social engagement can help route high-priority posts to the right person in an organization and help brands understand their voice on social media and reveal meaningful, actionable insights.

By deploying social engagement tools, brands can gain greater insight into their customers to inform product development and advertising, leading to more satisfied customers, enhanced customer loyalty, increased customer lifetime value and more revenue. Instead of guessing how customers are thinking, brands can create continuous loops of insight, feedback and active response.

Implementing new social engagement tools

Getting the most out of social engagement tools requires defining workflows, requirement analysis, system integrations, performance monitoring, and training. Learn how to equip your business with detailed insights on the emotions, needs and products your customers relate to with Verizon's social engagement solution.