5 Ways For Meaningful Engagement
The new advancements in technology today grants vast opportunities to reach out to a wide range of markets and potential customers online, but for many businesses it is difficult to reach out to these customers and properly engage with them. Proper engagement yields trust and loyalty but the occasional newsletter, social media post, or broad airwave sales pitch isn’t going to hold the attention of your target audience.
People respond better to providers of useful information that is relevant to solving the particular problems they are facing at the specific time the problems occurs and they want fast results. If you are just selling them something you leave the impression that you are not that interested in their concerns. Outlined below are some creative and effective ideas for individuals and companies to interact and engage with their customers online.
Build Online Community
There are several great ways to build an online community to more effectively interact and engage with your customers. Forums have been around for years and are still a widely used method of engaging with customers. Allow customers to engage with you as well.
Your forum will give you an opportunity to ask for recommendations then share the opinions with other potential customers. Convey the feeling that customers thoughts and ideas are valued.
Forums also branch into social media seamlessly, customers are already on these social every day and your forum will let bring customer to you as well as let you reach out to your customers. The interplay will build the presence of multiple networks. Google+Communities, Facebook Groups, and LinkedIn Groups are just a few of the many social networking sites that allow individuals and companies the ability to set up topic or brand communities.
You can also expand into the profiles of other businesses in you industry. There are plenty of thought leaders with blogs, podcast, and videos that you can subscribe to in order to have access to a their audience and you can use the interactions as inspiration for your media as well.
Every response you get on any of subject can generate further conversation as additional followers converse. Take notes so you will gain insight into the thoughts, preferences, and behaviors of your audience.
Check out our post on a Facebook advertising strategy.
Promote Events With Customers
If you need more to talk about with your customers then try attending local events if not host one yourself. Then you can share the experiences to generate conversations about activities people like and places they like to go to. Let people know ahead of time that you’re going to be there and ask who else will be attending. If you are the host then the event will bridge experiences that the people value to your business’s identity. Respond to those who are coming and let them know you’re looking forward to seeing them there.
At your event, take a few minutes to post photos and videos or even use Facebook Live or Instagram Live Stream to stream the while engaging with customers. Do a quick Q&A session with the followers who weren’t able to attend. You don’t have to limit yourself to professional or work-related events.
Engage your customers in meaningful conversation about things they may be passionate about because depending on your business, you may also be able to leverage other local news in the community as a source of conversation. Local interest stories are the type of content that’s easy for your followers to discuss, like and share. You can also bring up local sporting events, charity drives, grand openings, school events, and other local news. Reinforce the idea that you are not just interested in selling product, but in sharing experience.
Releasing an e-book, redesigning a website, or launching a new product doesn’t just have to be your projects. They can be the projects of your new community. If your online profiles can build up members to accomplishing their own goals, your platform can really develop new bonds with the users.
When you are encouraging community participation on a project, reward the people whose ideas and input you implemented. Involve your customers and community members so they will have a sense of identity and belonging. They will feel apart of the effort and process that made a product or service better.
Create content that is not available to the general public and is exclusive so that only members of your community can utilize it. Require users to login to this area. You don’t necessarily have to charge for access to this content. Require users to at least go through a registration process to gain access to it. This will generate traffic to you sites as well as be useful when negotiating with sponsors and other businesses. It can also be a method to prioritize the co create projects.
You may also want to offer special discounts and pricing to this group as well. A members only forum with active users can have more small group discussions so everyone is heard. This is a great way to build unity and engage your customers.
Host a Webinar
A webinar or Google Hangout is another innovative way of engaging with your customers. Present through a webinar brings opportunities for exclusive content as well. Talking about relevant topics in real time with instant responses to web chat provides immediate gratification to your community. Broadcasting video through live stream will allow you to reach a larger target audience on a platform like Youtube.
The presenter of the webinar or hangout can also convey you to be more passionate, entertaining, and engaging than you could otherwise be. Publish webinars more efficiently than writing a blog post and short e-book. The level of participation for viewers is tied to membership, supporting the efforts with the other ideas discussed previously.
Engage your customers in meaningful conversation. Engagement is the difference between a transaction based relationship and a more genuine, personal connection. Authentic relationship building takes effort but technology today offers so many great ways to interact and engage with customers online.
Engaging With Customers
Take advantage of all the free tools and resources available today to focus on engaging with customers. Devise a plan to better engage and interact with your customers online. Research and strategize so your business can adapt to the changing landscape of tomorrow.