How to Create a Social Media Strategy to Improve Customer Retention
It is widely known that the probability of selling to an existing customer is significantly higher than selling to a new customer.1 So why do marketers neglect to plan for post-sale customer journeys? Tactics to improve customer retention should be as essential to creating a social media strategy as building brand awareness and increasing engagement.
Selling to an existing customer is up to 65% more likely than selling to a new customer. - Bain
Focus on creating a social media strategy that produces memorable experiences and builds long-term relationships, and you’ll be more likely to have happier customers. Unsatisfied customers don’t stick around long—improving customer retention goes hand in hand with higher customer satisfaction.
Here are a few ways to start creating a social media strategy that centers on keeping customers in it for the long haul:
1. Invest in an Online Community for Happy Customers
If your customers want to engage with you and their peers after they’ve made their purchase (and believe us, they do!), an online community is a must when creating a social media strategy. An online community is a digital destination where customers can quickly find answers to their questions, share their experiences and evangelize your products. With peer-to-peer support, you’ll leverage the power of the crowd, build deeper relationships and make your customers happier. For example, since launching their online community BeautyTalk in 2010, cosmetic retailer Sephora reported their community members spent 2x more than the average customer, while community superfans spent a whopping 10x more on company products.
Make customers aware of the community through referrals from social agents and promotion on social channels.
Incorporate gamification techniques to give buyers good reasons to join and contribute to your community.
Make your digital community about your customers, not your brand.
Turn your community into a hub of brand advocates and partners.2
Companies with online communities see an 8.5% increase in customer satisfaction rates year-over-year, compared to only 2.7% for companies without online communities.
– Aberdeen Group
2. Be Visual
Today’s customers don’t just respond to visual content—they’ve come to expect it. Give them content that is worth sharing with compelling photos, engaging videos and inspirational graphics.
The majority of users report that seeing a how-to video helps them in their decision process—from in-depth, educational social media videos to quick live descriptions, explainer videos can help customers understand how to get more out of your products or services.
Every video should have a call to action to point people to a lead form, your online community or another interesting piece of content.
Repurpose your assets into different forms. Create audio and text assets from video for a podcast or blog post, include your most popular social photos on landing pages, and post snippets from videos on Instagram.
3. Leverage Consumers as Your Co-Creative Team
Great digital customer experience leaders understand that user-generated content (UGC) is the most trusted content source for consumers and serves as a powerful way to inspire engagement. When brands leverage content from their community, they improve their relevance and authenticity while building long-term relationships.
Use your superfans and influencers to tell the story of how your product or solution benefits their business or makes their lives easier.
Incorporate social media photos from real people in your advertising campaigns. This tactic is especially powerful when used for retargeting. Imagine seeing a user-generated image that you’ve never seen before instead of a product image that’s the same as the one you originally viewed.3 You’re less likely to feel like you’re being stalked by a brand, and more likely to convert.4
Share video reviews from real-life fans that give details about how to use your products as well as how they would rate that product.