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How to Implement Social Media in a Multichannel Engagement Strategy

Social media has played an integral role when it comes to multichannel engagement for a number of years now. The opportunity to communicate with your customers and prospects in real time and increase brand trust is too good to miss.

Arguably, it is what turned digital marketing into multichannel marketing.

However with the proliferation of social media channels, it’s getting harder  to manage  brand presence effectively. The struggle of knowing what type of content to post, who you’re posting it for, and when to post is real.

But when making steps towards expanding your reach and catering to a wider audience you can’t put social media on the backburner.

Just because you haven’t got a handle on it yet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on it. When used in the right way, the return on investing your time and effort into it is high. There’s just a few things to follow that will have you well on your way to a great social media presence.

Why Social Media works for Customer Engagement

Social media, as an avenue for customer engagement, can be highly rewarding. People in general spend a lot of time on them, so it’s the perfect place to further your relationships with your customers.

But you need to know where your customers spend their time, and what type of customers use certain platforms in order to be really successful in using it.

This isn’t something that is difficult to find out. Data is your best friend here and you should use it to identify where your customers are. You can then start to structure your campaigns off the back of that data.

When it comes to using it as a platform for engagement, there’s a few reasons why big brands across the globe put the effort into their pages.

Two-way Engagement with Followers

Customers want to feel part of the companies they spend their money with. If they feel like they are just a number they will look to places that treat them better.

One of the ways a customer can feel like they belong to a community is the opportunity to talk directly to the company. And get a direct response from them.

Opening up a real time, two-way communication channel through your social media pages for your customers will mean a lot to them. It’s a way for them to give feedback, make inquiries, or make complaints should they need to.

It’s important to be mindful that customers expect prompt responses from the businesses they interact with. So it is something that should be monitored on a regular basis.

The real-time interaction aspect of this is crucial for effective customer engagement.

Increase Reach

Social media platforms have millions of users which means, in addition to those who have already heard of you, there is a huge cohort of potential customers you are yet to engage with. 

Social media provides the opportunity for you to engage with a much broader audience that may not have seen or heard of you yet.

Incorporating it as part of your multichannel engagement strategy means that you will not only be talking to existing customers, but new prospects too.

Cost Effective

Getting your message across using different channels like SMS, notifications, and emails is essential to any multichannel engagement strategy. However it is something that you have to pay for to use.

Social media platforms are a cost effective way to communicate with your customers. The main reason being that they are free to use. Of course, you can pay for ads and sponsored posts for further promotion. But at its core it is a free way to talk to your customers.

The downside is, because it’s free, your competitors will be on those channels too.

With 3 billion active users, it’s reasonable to assume there are plenty of prospects using social media. As a result, your cost for acquiring new customers through interesting content on social media is lower than almost any other channel.

Best Practices 

Prompt Responses

When a customer reaches out to your business, it’s important that you respond in a timely manner.

Customers are time poor so they want a quick response. Doubly so if they’re contacting you with a problem.

Your level of customer service says a lot about your business and how much you care for your customers. So it’s important to make it the best it can possibly be.

When it comes to social media it’s not only important to your customers that you are quick to respond, but also for your own business. Platforms can track how quickly you respond and this can have an affect on your page performance within the platform itself.

Overall, things can be made much more frustrating by poor customer service and long response times.

Social media platforms are a great way for customers to send issues, inquiries, or complaints directly to the business. Immediate assistance will leave a much better taste in the customer’s mouth. Leaving them on the long finger will only make things worse.

Customers don’t forget bad experiences easily, especially when it comes to customer service. 

Engaging and Valuable Content

So much content goes up on social media on a daily basis. Businesses are not only competing against each other, but also against content creators who fill the feed of the people you’re trying to reach. 

The content you put out needs to be high quality and engaging for followers. Make sure you use the data available to you on these platforms to identify which posts are working, and which ones aren’t. How your audience engages with your posts will help you to create more relevant content.

Although bear in mind, just because a piece of content didn’t perform on one platform doesn’t mean it won’t perform on others. Remember, different audiences respond to different things. Trial and error is part of the process.

Competitions or giveaways are often a go-to for businesses when trying to both increase followers and engagement. People love free things and are willing to share your posts and stories in order to get it. 

Sharing behind the scenes photos or unseen footage from around your business is eye catching for your followers as well. Take your followers behind the scenes of your business and show them what goes on behind closed doors. This can be a great way to humanise your brand and build trust with your audience.

User-generated content is an effective tool when it comes to engaging your followers and interacting with them. Showcase customer photos and videos of your products or services on social media. This not only helps build a community around your brand, but also provides social proof and can increase sales.

Those are just a few types of content to get you started. But there is so much more you can do with your social media pages to draw people in.

Brand Advocates

Having someone who is passionate about your product post about you on their page can attract audiences that you otherwise may not have reached. It also makes your brand more authentic and trustworthy.

Brand advocates are a valuable asset because they provide social proof and increase brand awareness, ultimately leading to increased sales and customer loyalty.

Just over 90% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. So when a brand advocate shares a positive experience about you, it is more likely to be trusted and influence others to try the brand as well.

Furthermore, brand advocates can help businesses reach a wider audience. By sharing their experiences with their own network, they are essentially acting as brand ambassadors and increasing the brand’s reach.

It’s important that businesses play their part in the relationship as well. By engaging with brand advocates and showing appreciation for their loyalty, they can strengthen the relationship between the customer and their brand.

Integration with Other Channels

At first thought, social media seems like it would operate in a silo and wouldn’t sit anywhere near your other channels. But when it comes to social media and the role it plays in multichannel engagement, it can be much more intertwined than you’d first think. 

What makes it such an important communication channel is the ability to integrate it with others.

Email marketing

Email marketing is a staple of multichannel engagement. This is down to the fact that it can be relatively straightforward to collect email data and delivering messages via the channel is reliable.

But you won’t capture all your customers’ emails when they visit your site. So, encouraging them to sign up to your email updates or newsletter using your social media page can work well.

Not only will you be shouting about it through another channel, but also show them the content and offers they are missing out on.

Alternatively, you could also use your email campaigns to promote your social media pages as well. So it can work both ways.

Website

Your website will often be the first place people see and interact with your business. There will be a lot of new customers coming through that door so it’s important to keep them in some way. 

Your website is the perfect place to include icons and links to your social media pages. You can even offer some sort of reward for following you on one to make it more appealing.

Including some social media content on your website homepage is also an option for integrating the two together even further. Making use of live feeds and customer reviews can make for a more interactive experience.

Again on the other side of things, you can use your social media profiles to direct traffic directly to your website as well.

The vast majority of the time social media is spent on smartphones. In fact, barely over 1% of social media users visit them on a desktop.

This means that it is essential for businesses to make sure that their website is optimised for mobile. Websites that aren’t optimised for mobile can be difficult to navigate and leads to an incredibly frustrating user experience.

A lot of people that go to your website from your social media page will quickly leave it if this is the case.

Mobile app

Allow users to sign into their accounts through their social media account. Use notifications to promote new posts on your social media account

Signing into an account on a mobile app can be made quicker and easier by integrating it with social media. Businesses should allow users to sign in using their social media accounts. 

Businesses can also use push notifications to promote their social media channels or to alert users of new social media content. This would boost engagement and followers for their social media platforms while also sending relevant content to their customers.

Let Your Data Direct You

When it comes to multichannel engagement, it is your data that does the majority of the driving and forms the basis of your campaigns.

It’s all well and good creating posts that look great and catch the eye. But if it’s not something your customers care about then it’s unlikely to be successful. Your data should guide what you’re posting

Understanding what your customers engage with most, and what type of content you want to promote to different segments is imperative to success. There will be cohorts that want to see behind the scenes footage, and others who don’t. You need to know what content to send to each segment, and when.

It will also help you understand what is going well and what isn’t. Meaning you can tweak the parts that are going wrong and continue to test things out further down the line.

The main thing to remember is that social media has a very important seat at the table when it comes to customer communications and multichannel engagement. Provided that you let your data take you in the right direction.

If you want to know more about how Xtremepush can help you with your multichannel engagement efforts, book a meeting with the team today.

Click to download our guide to increasing eCommerce conversions and retention.

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