Businesses today are built on social media. Platforms are extensions of your storefronts. How you engage with your customers on social media can determine the difference between transactional businesses and beloved brands, big or small.
Consumers increasingly expect everyone from mom-and-pop restaurants to global retail chains to interact with their customers on social media in meaningful ways. Effective business communication on social media is an art, but that doesn’t mean it’s not difficult to master. With these easy dos and don’ts, you can help ensure you are interacting with your customers through comments, likes, and direct messages (DMs) in a way that makes them feel seen, heard, and valued–and you’ll find plenty of value, too!
Likes. Shares. Comments. Reactions of all kinds count. Positive engagement is the goal, but if someone has a negative interaction with your business and decides to post about it on social media, that’s an opportunity for engagement, too. Connect with customers through instant refunds in the form of eGift cards, credits, coupons, or refunds. Most of those capabilities are built into Clover POS systems for SMBs.
From retail to restaurants, competition is fierce. Engaging with customers on social media can drive loyalty and set your business apart from the rest. It’s a creative and dynamic way to deliver personalized customer service and turn those customers into your community. Plus, there’s always a chance your business could go viral simply for your quick wit, human, or humorous interactions.
Say a child leaves her Teddy Bear behind. Reunite it with its owner through social posts showing Teddy running your register, helping close, or clean up shop. Cute and heartwarming posts are almost always a hit.
Think of any touchpoint or two-way conversation between your business and current or prospective customers. If you can talk to them the same way on social media, you’ll distinguish your business there, too. Genuine interactions with your followers can affect customer satisfaction and retention. Remember, social media is conversational by nature. Customers aren’t coming to your page to be talked at, they’re looking to spark a dialogue.
Great conversations can have a positive impact on sales. Plus, routine social media interactions give prospective customers familiarity with your brand which can encourage buying and create loyalty. Even liking the right tagged post or addressing a review can go a long way. Here are some other ideas for how to interact with customers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other platform you may use.
When customers reach out to you, whether it’s through a comment or a direct message, get back fast—within an hour, if possible. This shows that you value their time and are committed to providing excellent customer service. Instead of having a single scripted response ready to go, such as “Thank you for reaching out. We appreciate your feedback,” reply as if they are a friend. Ask them for more information about a concern and come up with a solution together. The more genuine it reads, the more positive the interaction will feel for both parties. It also creates an opportunity for you to learn more about your customers and your business, what’s working and what’s not. Listen to their concerns, acknowledge their feelings, and offer a solution or assistance.
Use alerts and notifications on mobile to keep an eye on your brand mentions and respond to any negative comments or reviews promptly. This shows that you take customer feedback seriously and are committed to resolving any issues quickly. If people are mentioning your brand in the form of complaints, respond by asking them to message you directly in the platform or email you so that you can find a solution outside of the public eye. If people are complimenting your company, show them your appreciation by liking their message or replying with a quick thank you! Knowing how your brand is being talked about and in what context gives you more insight into your audience.
Simple reactions to content that relates to your business or its goals helps you stand out. If a follower includes your business in a “day in the life” post on Instagram or TikTok, show up in the comments thanking them or ask them to say “hi” in person next time. Online interactions can turn into IRL (in real life) experiences.
Let’s say you own a bakery and you notice people are talking about their morning coffee orders. Make a social media post with your employees’ go-to coffee orders and their favorite pastry pairings and ask people to comment on which ones get them out of bed each day. Not only is this a fun way to create buzz, but it also gives you insight into what your customers’ favorites are so that you can ensure you’re catering to their wants.
Show your appreciation for your customers by offering exclusive discounts, promotions, or other perks. This can incentivize repeat business and increase customer loyalty, and it’s often made easy with your customer engagement tools.
Overall, the best ways to interact with customers on social media are to be prompt, personalized, empathetic, authentic, and fun. Instead of approaching each interaction transactionally, think of each comment, like, and post as a way to contribute to a larger conversation, get your name out there, and connect with the community you cater to. With your POS system, the customer intelligence suite is a great way to gain insight into who your customers are and how you can more effectively communicate with them through social media.
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