USA Today reported that a record number of consumers used mobile devices to shop online during Cyber Monday. As consumers become more comfortable using mobile devices to shop, they’re also using mobile devices to access social media. More time online equals more time, potentially, to connect with your brand via social media channels.
What happens when customers reach out and no one responds?
Just as brick-and-mortar businesses must “staff up” during the holiday season to be sure to serve consumers well, brands must “staff up” with team members to monitor and respond to shoppers online.
Here are five tips to help you interact with consumers via social media during the holidays and beyond:
1. Turn up your listening. While it may be tempting to schedule and send promotional updates through the holiday season, you can stand out by listening and responding to fans and customers who communicate with you. Be sure to monitor Google Alerts for your business name and other relevant terms, and check your social channels multiple times each day. Respond, engage and differentiate yourself by your desire and willingness to connect.
2. Turn up your listening (part 2). Save a search on Twitter for your industry and/or location. Dip into the stream a couple of times each day to look for people who might be looking for a product or service you offer. Several weeks ago, I needed to find a new bank for business banking. Even though I sent several general tweets about banks, not a single bank engaged with me. Later, after I chose a bank, I sent tweets tagging both my old bank and my new bank. Until I mentioned a specific bank, no one engaged. You can impress me (and win my business) if you respond before I tag you by your handle.
3. Show up! Designate someone in your company to spend a set amount of time each day engaging fans on your social media pages. If you’ve curated a list of fans and friends, you can spend a few focused minutes scanning a Twitter list to interact with customers in real time. If they mention an event, remember it and ask about it later. @TopoAthletic delighted me by tweeting me, several days after our original connection, to wish me luck on my half marathon.
4. Be real! Use the holidays as an opportunity to share real-life updates in real time from your team. How is your company celebrating the holidays? Give your fans and customers a glimpse and invite them into your story by sharing photos and stories.
5. Give extra love to your best fans and customers. People follow you on social media in large part because they want to get inside deals and discounts. Don’t disappoint them! Look for creative and unexpected ways to give a little extra to your fans.
Customers’ impressions of your brand online will quickly spread as they share about you on social media channels. By using the tips outlined above, you’ll be sure the stories people tell about your brand this holiday season are ones you’d like to repeat.
Becky Robinson is a social media strategist, author and founder of Weaving Influence, leading a team of more than 20 skilled professionals partnering with authors and thought leaders to grow their online influence and market their books.