As consumers, the more we can connect with a brand, the more likely we are to stay loyal to that brand. That’s why we keep going back to those little shops in our hometowns (the ones where the owners remember your name and ask how your mom is doing) and the hairstylists that we’ve gone to for years, who remember our terrible exes and who know all of our secrets.
Not all business owners get to know their customers face-to-face like this. In fact, most don’t – especially in an increasingly digital world. Here at WHIP Communications, we’ve “met” 90% of our clients via Zoom calls. That’s why digitally connecting with customers is critical to growing and expanding our business. If your business is the same, we have some good news for you: you can still connect with your clients even without in-person interaction!
There are a lot of ways for businesses to get the most out of social media, and digitally connecting with customers is just one of them! Here are some tips for how to become internet friends with your followers:
You’ve heard this one before, but it’s oh-so-important to open your ears to the conversations your customers are having online. What are they talking about? What issues are they passionate about?
This is how you will be able to identify what matters to your audience – and capitalize on the trends and conversations they are participating in. Use hashtags to find out what’s being talked about, follow your existing and ideal customers on social platforms, and you can even create polls or surveys for them to fill out.
Here’s a fact that you need to know: 70% of consumers report feeling more connected to a brand when a CEO has an active social media presence. People relate to people – and your customers want to see the face behind your business. It sounds too easy, but it’s true: being yourself is how you digitally connect with customers, and it’s also how to market your small business.
What does this look like? It could be personalizing your social media accounts to include real photos of you and your team, or using “I” pronouns in your content.
For food blogger Tieghan Gerard (aka Half Baked Harvest), Instagram Q&As are the way to go. Through Q&As, Gerard answers all of her followers’ questions about herself and her life – allowing her customers to really get to know the woman behind their favorite cookbook.
Don’t underestimate the power of language! Shifting the pronouns you use in your content to “we” and “you” can make all the difference in engaging customers. Why?
Humans are selfish beings. (It’s true!) We want to know how your business will benefit us. Using “we” pronouns helps customers realize that there is a person behind the business (remember the last tip about revealing yourself!) — and “you” pronouns will allow your audience to personalize your content.
Here’s an example. If you’re selling clothes, you can utilize this tactic in an Instagram caption.
“We know that these jeans will give you the stretch you need AND keep you stylish during the holiday season.” or “We want to celebrate YOU! That’s why today only, we’re offering 10% off online jeans purchases.”
Personalize your content — both from your business (we) and to your customers (you) — and you’ll be one step closer to digitally connecting with your customers.
Make connecting with your consumers a part of your marketing strategy
How can your next marketing campaign relate to each and every individual member of your audience? This can be a tricky question to address, so here are some ideas and examples of businesses that nailed this challenge.
After listening to the conversations their consumers were having on women empowerment and body positivity, Aerie nixed the typical approach of using models and a single body type to advertise their clothing.
Instead, they created the #AERIEReal campaign – encouraging consumers to upload selfies to social media and celebrate body positivity. This way, ALL consumers, regardless of body type, could see themselves in Aerie’s brand. (MORE OF THIS PLZ!)
Even a company as large as Coca-Cola still found a way to personalize its brand and connect to consumers. You’ll probably remember this one.
In their #ShareACoke campaign, Coca-Cola replaced logos on Coke bottles with 250 names, attracting the attention of people across the country. I bet at some point, you saw your name on a Coke and got a little excited, even if you don’t want to admit it.
Sometimes, all it takes is a personal touch to make your audience feel special.
Looking for a more quick and easy way to connect with your audience? Sun Gods’ got it down.
Sun Gods is a Black woman-owned lifestyle and apparel brand in Washington, D.C – known for creating modern looks with materials sourced from the African Diaspora. When Sun Gods is mentioned by customers on social media, they give a shout-out and repost their pics.
Everyone loves a little recognition — and it’s an easy way to digitally connect with customers.
These tips are just a starting point, but hopefully, they give you a little something to think about as you continue to shape your business and connect with your customers.
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