The need to engage customers with your brand is one of the easiest things to plan and write about - but it's the hardest thing to do! You know what you have to do (in theory), but where to start?
Here are 7 steps to better brand engagement:
Have a clear brand and brand voice. To do this, keep in mind why your company exists when you talk to potential and existing customers both on and offline - and make sure your team has the same understanding to take steps toward a consistent brand voice and presence.
Tip: To help clarify an idea, lay everything out as if the company where a person, give them a name, hair colour, demographic and most importantly a personality, even the kind of language they use - this will make communication so much easier as you already have a clear idea of who you are communicating as.
2. Be Where Your Customers Are
Social media, blogs, events - be there keeping an eye on what’s going on, what your followers are interested in, what they respond to and what gets them excited. Something that can help you out on Facebook particularly is making use of the latest update helping you reach more people who are interested in you without having to sponsor posts.
3. Use Your Social Platforms
Don't be shy! Your followers already ‘like’ you - it’s time to start a conversation. It isn’t enough to just be there - you need to participate! Post regularly - this can be the hardest part of being on social and creating a community and conversation with your customers - finding content that is relevant and interesting. Having brand voice down pat will come in very handy here.
Tip: To help out, you could create a list of key messages you want to convey and then think of different ways you can talk about them and what kinds of posts fit that message.
4. Talk Back
There is nothing worse than a company who uses social as a broadcast medium - that’s not what it’s for! Social media is designed to get people talking, connecting and communicating - so reply to followers comments, inboxes, tweets, smoke signals - if they say something you reply! It makes your page personalised and more engaging - think about it, you’re more likely to follow or listen to someone who talks back!
You may think email is dead (or at least very irritating), but well-timed, relevant email can be a very useful tool. Those who are managing an eCommerce store have it a lot easier when it comes to email communications than bricks and mortar, mainly because of the ability to know what your customers are doing and when - then perfectly timing an email based on customer behaviour is easier to do, you already have the information and best of all, it can be automated based on each individual customers behaviour.
From a bricks and mortar or service based business standpoint this is a little more challenging, as your individual customers behaviours sit more on the side of the 'unknown' - which means trial and error. Some options available to you include digitising part of your sales process or using technology such as Beacons to track your customers movements, purchases and interests as they move around stores.
6. Story Telling
People love a good story, it’s a simple idea to carry through all of your communication, keeping the content relevant and fresh, both on and offline, while keeping followers wanting more. Your storyline could range from your founding story, of one of your clients or even something a little deeper, that gets to followers to tap into emotion.
7. Be Customer-centric
Ensure your messages are centred around what your organisation can do for your customers, that your organisation is run by humans for humans. Technology and big business have eroded people's trust of organisations and the perception can be that they're only money making machines with no regard for the humans who are their customers - this is where most negative feelings toward brands can originate - avoid it by sounding and behaving like a real person.
For more tips on how to engage customers both me and existing, send an email through to our expert Marketing Team firstname.lastname@example.org