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How to engage your customers

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Jovana Stevanovic

In today’s digital world saturated with information coming from a wide variety of sources, it is quite easy for your message to get drowned out by the noise. How do you make sure you get noticed and attract prospects in the sea of brands? How do you keep your existing customers interested and engaged? For many organisations this has been an ongoing challenge, especially because people are becoming overwhelmed with the enormous amounts of information available to them right at their fingertips.

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges is the fact that today almost everyone in the organisation has became a marketer. Multiple touch points between companies and its customers are spread across the Internet, therefore turning customer engagement into everyone’s responsibility.

Customer engagement through social media

Over the past few years, social media has evolved from being an online tool for socialisation between friends to one of the key components of organisations’ marketing strategy. It is a very powerful tool that connects businesses directly to their customers and stakeholders, and enables two-way communication. If used correctly, this tool can be extremely useful in engaging your customers.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you need to engage your customers in a meaningful way. The information you offer has to be relevant and valuable to them. If you simply bombard your target audience with any kind of content that you can come up with, the two-way communication model no longer works. The information you share with your customers shouldn’t sound like a crafted sales message or marketing pitch. Instead, it should sound like it’s coming from one friend to another. It should feel personal, natural and sincere.

What is needed for successful customer engagement?

Implementing customer engagement efforts is not much different from implementing any other business strategy. Here are a few things your company should consider before you get started.

  • Strategic plan – No campaign can be effective and reach its full potential if there isn’t a well defined plan for its execution. Make sure you set a clear campaign goal right from the beginning. It can be anything from improving your product and nurturing loyalty to increasing sales. The goal should be further broken down into measurable objectives that will enable you to plan the stages of your campaign. Make sure to list the specific tasks for each stage of the plan because it will help you narrow down what you need to do to execute the plan. Project management software might be a tool to consider while you are in the stage of planning.
  • Incentives – People are busy and the majority of your customers are not sitting around all day browsing the Internet and doing what you’re asking them to do. Because of this, you need to provide some incentives for them. Make sure to consider carefully what would incentivise your clients to share their thoughts with you and provide feedback. Maybe you will need to break them into different groups, depending on the characteristics of your target audience. For the best results, incentives should be tangible and presented to customers quickly.
  • Continuous improvement – The greatest benefit about having a two-way communication with your customers is the feedback they provide you with. This feedback will allow you to improve your customer service, marketing efforts, your products or the service your offer. It is important to measure, follow up, adapt and innovate. These four principles will show your customers that you really do care about what they have to say, instead of just trying to create “buzz” online about your company. Be transparent about it too, because it can help you attract more prospects as people value organisations that listen to them, respond to feedback and successfully adapt to meet their customers’ expectations.

Social media is just one of the ways to engage your customers. No matter what kind of campaign you come up with, it is crucial to realise that it is all about the customers, not your company. Focus on giving before expecting anything in return. Be genuine and show that you care about your customers, they will know how to appreciate it.

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About Jovana Stevanovic

Jovana Stevanovic
Having studied, worked and lived abroad for a number of years, Jovana has developed a diverse set of skills and a unique perspective into the business world, which she applies in her current role as Marketing Automation Consultant. Her passion for online marketing and a keen interest in global marketing trends are what drives her to produce effective online campaigns for international clients in the IT sector. Jovana graduated from St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and a minor in Public Relations. Jovana enjoys learning languages and is fluent in Serbian, English and Italian. Her other interests include social media, travelling and cooking.