Group of Diverse People Discussing About Social MediaCustomer retention is the foundation of every successful business and social media is a low-cost means of showcasing how great your company is. And whilst Christmas is the perfect time of year to attract new customers, the true triumph is keeping them in the new year.

Social media networks give you the ideal platform to engage customers in two-way conversation and develop long-lasting relationships. To do this you need a bit of savvy and a social media strategy.

Great customer service

Your social media network allows you to showcase how good your customer service is. Whenever you engage with one customer, remember that individual represents all your customers. Give thanks when you have received praise, but also accept blame when you make a mistake.

If you are on the end of a finger-wagging, publicly be seen to offer reasonable compensation. This is good customer service. Everyone makes mistakes – we are only human after all – so most people forgive errors if there is a satisfactory conclusion. Demonstrate what you will do for one customer and every other customer restores faith in your brand.

Add a personal touch

A personal touch makes all the difference on social media. You might even want to post photos of the network administrator so your customers can put a face to a name and give them a virtual shopping experience.

But it is the personal offers that will retain customers – special offers “just for you” thanking them for investing in whatever their last purchase was. When you make customers feel valued, they are more likely to be loyal.

Incentives

Sometimes customers need a little encouragement to buy, especially when they don’t realise they want something! By offering an incentive and pitching a product they might be interested in, you are putting the thought into their head and some shoppers will return to take you up on the idea. The offer may be a new product, special price product, add-on service, upgrade or special deal just for them.

Don’t bombard customers with offers

As a follow on from the last suggestion, it is not good practice to bombard your customers with offers every week. If you overwhelm customers with too many messages, they will be annoyed and more likely to unsubscribe than buy anything else.

Maintain a balance of content

Whenever you post content on your social media account, it is there for everyone to see. According to reports, businesses that only post content related to their own business get ignored given the culture of social media is about sharing and not selling.

Therefore, limit the amount of company content to about 20% and refer customers to interesting news items, funny videos, pictures or quotes instead. Unlike blogging the content you share on social media does not have to relate to the industry you work in.

Social media has its fans and its critics in business circles. The critics are business owners that do not use social media networks properly and thus have no joy with them. Don’t become a critic.