By definition, a relationship is a two-way street. Healthy personal relationships include communication, mutual understanding and respect. With the advent of social media, small business owners now have an unprecedented opportunity to connect with customers in a way that can closely emulate a personal relationship. This relationship between a business and a customer feeds brand loyalty, trust, and long-term commitment. No smart business owner can afford to turn their back on how social media marketing can help build. Here are some tips on how to improve customer relations with social media.

Feedback

Social media gives small business owners insight into customers’ thoughts about the company when it’s used to gain feedback. Feedback about company decisions, products and services is an invaluable tool to help guide the future of the company. Both positive and negative feedback is helpful. The business owner can learn what customers are thinking, how they perceive packaging and logos, and what features may be missing from the products or services their business is selling.

Transparency

Through social media, small business owners can give customers a look into the inner workings of the company. This can help to gain trust, make the customer feel that they are an extended member of the small business “family,” and demonstrate that the business has nothing to hide from its customers. Transparency feeds into the customers’ sense of trust in the business, and this helps to solidify the relationship between the customer and the business.

Responsiveness

One of the biggest complaints that customers always have is a lack of responsiveness to complaints or criticism. Since social media opens up the lines of communication, this gives customers a way to elicit a company’s response in a very public way. When the small business owner has trained staff members that know how to handle negative comments from the public, being responsive is the next logical step. Business owners and staff can quickly and publicly respond to any issues that a customer may have. This responsiveness can help to build customer relationships, and can also positively influence any potential consumers who aren’t yet customers.

Engagement

Social media allows small businesses to stay engaged with their customers as frequently as they wish. Customer engagement is one of the hallmarks of excellent customer relationships. Engagement can consist of something as simple as updating the public on a new product or package design, or it can be as interesting as holding a contest and inviting the public to join in. On social media, engagement is easy and natural for small business owners and their customers. Business owners can also post videos on social media. It’s a proven fact that videos are found to be more engaging and brands you as a market leader in your niche market.

Announcements

Customers rarely like to be surprised by their favorite companies. Using social media for business announcements helps to improve customer relationships. Small business owners need to realize that not every customer is going to get a press release announcement or see news about the company in the local chamber of commerce newsletter. Making an important company announcement with social media helps to ensure the message gets out to the people in a place where they already congregate – on social media.

Offers

Giving customers who follow the business social media accounts special offers is a great way to reward brand loyalty. Learning how to advertise on social media is very worthwhile. Social media advertising is the perfect medium to give special offers for followers. Those who “like” the page help to make the social media account more popular, while at the same time getting treated as special by the business. Offers also keep customers coming back to the social media page, where the business owner can continue to offer a fresh content stream to further improve customer relationships.

Customers these days expect business owners to have social media accounts, so it only makes good customer relations sense for business owners to do so. Social media marketing is the latest method to attracting customers and ensuring customer retention.

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