As the previous posts in our series on social media marketing describe, creating a program that solves real business goals (read: sales/customer acquisition and retention) requires a true understanding of your audience—insights that guide how to speak to specific segments of that audience on a personal level, identifying need states and adjusting messaging accordingly.
But a word of warning: Your social audience—both segments looking to purchase and current customers looking for service or support—may want to extend the interaction into another channel. Preparing for these seemingly spontaneous but often-predictable jumps requires a program that is multichannel-ready.
For instance, if someone clicks a link to “get more information,” your online experience should provide them with product information and a gentle call to action, such as pushing to reviews of your product. This interaction can also offer them the option to click-to-call with a knowledgeable sales specialist. That specialist should be well-versed in social marketing tools so they can seamlessly handle the interaction with Twitter or Facebook to answer follow-up questions. As you can see, this multi-channel handling creates a true closed loop with that consumer.
As you may expect, incorporating more channels into the interaction will likely mean more challenges. Going back to our previous example, an existing customer may use the click-to-call feature via mobile as a quick way to get in touch with customer service, so call centers must be ready to appropriately handle that call in addition to the expected sales call. For many customers, social media is becoming their primary venue to voice their good and bad impressions of a brand. Providing the right experience in all channels, like mobile, is an opportunity to create a valuable social ambassador—rather than an unhappy customer—for your brand.
Used this way, social media becomes an excellent tool for maximizing customer lifetime value and closing the marketing sales loop. By understanding what your prospects and customers want, and building relevant and personalized experiences, you can build a strong relationship with them from initial interaction through to them becoming a valuable customer and, potentially, a brand ambassador.
How are you making social work for your business?