It's well-known that focusing on improving your customer retention rate is an efficient way to increase sales and overall profits. It costs 5x more to gain a new customer than to retain one so it’s well worth building a solid relationship with your current customers.
Social media is one of the best channels to use to improve your retention. With over 3.6 billion people using social media globally, it’s not only great for reaching out to wider audiences but also for getting to know and engaging with current clients.
Many B2B owners might not see social media as being the most obvious channel for improving customer retention, however, it’s actually just as important for B2B as it is for B2C. It’s likely that the majority of your buyers are active on social media and spend a fair bit of time there. If your brand can't be found on social media, you risk giving the impression that your company is stagnant or not very well established within the industry. This can result in customers moving across to your competitors who are active on social media and have an engaging platform.
Using social media to connect with your current customers is an effective way to show your value and build trustworthy relationships. This will increase the likelihood of them becoming repeat buyers and advocates for your brand.
So let’s explore the best social media strategies for improving retention in your business.
Make sure you're easily found on social media
It’s important that your brand has a presence on all social media platforms and that it’s easy for clients to find you.
Make sure you have a clear and simple username and use the same visuals throughout all your social media platforms. Your logos, color schemes, and image styles should be kept consistent so that you’re easily identifiable when people search for you. Make sure to use hashtags that are relevant to your industry and the product/service you offer. This will make it easy for customers to find you and will also ensure you appear on the feeds of the right people.
Building your social media presence and connecting with existing customers on multiple platforms can be quite overwhelming at first. The best way to start is to identify which social media channel your current customers are the most active on and focus on building your platform there (in B2B, it’s probably LinkedIn). From this, you can link to your other social media accounts and have a consistent strategy across all your platforms. Scheduling tools will make this task a lot more manageable as they allow you to engage with customers across multiple social media channels under just one dashboard.
Get to know your customers on social media
Social media offers you the chance to learn about who your current customers are: their specific interests/backgrounds, and what they use social media for.
Create polls or ask questions on your social media platform to find out more about them. You can use this information to then develop more targeted marketing strategies.
For example, you could direct message customers through social media about their interests, and specific needs they have shared. You could also promote and offer special deals on a product/service that can help with the common issues customers have mentioned.
Interact and engage with your customers on social media
78% of customers believe that the quickest and most direct channel to use to connect with a brand is social media so you can be pretty confident that your customers will be willing to engage and get involved on your social media.
Create your own hashtags and encourage customers to use them when they post about using your product/service. Give shout-outs to new followers and celebrate the customers who have been with you for a long time.
Ask customers to share their stories with your brand on social media. Tag them in your posts and share their reviews on your page. You can even ask them to be part of a live stream so they can talk about how your product/service has specifically helped their business. This will help massively with brand advocacy too meaning you could pick up some new customers along the way, bonus!
Letting customers talk and actively involving them will help build a strong bond with them meaning they are more likely to stay and less likely to look to your competitors.
Educate your customers on social media
Providing customers with educational content highlights your expertise within the industry and shows the value of your brand. It puts you in a good position against your competitors and gives a reason for customers to stay with you.
Create and share educational posts, videos, infographics, and podcasts regularly on social media. Include valuable information about your product/service such as top-tips or alternate ways on how to use them to benefit your client's businesses.
Don’t be scared to open up about your brand too; share your company’s mission and show ‘behind-the-scenes’ of the company’s daily operations to show the time and effort that goes into it.
You could also provide educational content on current hot topics within the relevant industry and discuss recent events that have happened to showcase your knowledge within the industry and build your status as a thought leader.
A great feature social media has for showcasing your content and making sure customers actually see it is live streams. In fact, live streams on LinkedIn receive 7x more reactions and 24x more comments than regular video posts.
You could ask a few social media influencers or well-known industry leaders to take part in your streams to add even more value to the content. It’s important to make sure when you’re planning a live stream you have a good stable internet connection and have a strategy in place to reply to all comments and questions asked by your viewers to keep their engagement level high.
Social media is constantly bringing out new features that can be utilized by marketers to showcase content. Make sure you stay on top of them so you can implement them into your strategy effectively.
Listen to customers and their feedback
Social media provides an easy and instant channel for customers to ask for help and provide feedback. Not replying back to customer issues through social media can lead to a 15% increase in your churn rate, so it’s important you develop a strategy that allows you to respond quickly and efficiently.
Reply within a reasonable time frame and use an auto-responder for messages that come in out of hours to let customers know when you’ll be able to respond. Ensure that your reply is informative and tells customers exactly what they need to know. The last thing you want is the customer to feel as though you have wasted their time. Providing them with a seamless experience will make them feel confident that they can rely on you if something does go wrong. Be sure to also show customers they have been listened to by telling them how you have understood their feedback and improved. Social media listening tools such as Sprout Social and Brandwatch are useful for monitoring your customer's comments so you can respond and act on them quickly.
You can also use social media to ask customers for their feedback. Use direct message or create and post polls/questions to find out about their experience so far and anything that could be improved. You could also pitch your ideas about a new product/service and ask for their thoughts. This will not only make the customer feel they are contributing to the brand, but will also provide you with valuable information for the development of your next product/service.
Showcase your special offers on social media
Use your social media platforms to reward the customers who actively promote your brand e.g. offer special promotions, gift cards, or loyalty points for repeat purchases. Tag the customers who take advantage of these offers in your posts to demonstrate to potential buyers the loyalty and bond you hold with your customers.
Post limited loyalty offers or giveaways on your social media that privilege your loyal followers. You could post a special promotional code that is valid for only 3 hours or offer an exclusive giveaway. Customers will take advantage of this offer and feel rewarded for their loyalty to your brand.
It’s important to remember that a lot of time and effort is needed to see an improvement in your retention. Having an effective and well-thought-through customer retention strategy is what will lead you to your desired results.
Utilizing social media within this strategy will aid your success. It will allow you to build a platform where you can show off your brand’s value and take advantage of the wide network it offers to connect, engage and build a relationship with existing clients.
Need some help with retaining customers through social media? Maybe you've got tips on how you've built a dedicated customer base. Share with the B2B Marketing Alliance Community!