Updated: Jul 16, 2018
There’s no question that the way to a customer’s heart is to make them feel seen and heard. We do this by providing them with the right thing at the right time. Social Media is a powerful #marketing channel that can allow us to do just that. In fact, the brands that are mattering more and more to their customers are the ones that go beyond just posting about their products and services, and instead leverage Social Media to make an impact and deepen relationships.
Don’t use Social Media to impress people; use it to impact people. - Dave Willis
How do they use Social Media to become irresistible to customers?
They Use It To Find People To Surprise & Delight
What is Surprise & Delight? As the name suggests, it revolves around giving something of value that is totally unexpected by the recipient, like a random act of kindness. It could be in the form of a physical gift or a special moment created for customers. These gifts or moments are given with no strings attached i.e, the recipient does not have to do anything to earn it. The idea here is for customers to want to keep interacting with your brand because they never know when they’ll be the lucky recipient of something memorable. Nobody wants to miss out on the potential of being delightfully surprised. It also gives customers and potential customers something great to talk and get excited about.
Real Life Example
International airline KLM once surprised passengers with thoughtful and personalized gifts as they made their way through departure to their gate. Gifts included things like an upgrade to first class for an elderly lady who was travelling alone, and a fitness watch that tracks both walking speed and distance which was given to a woman who was going hiking in Rome. The airline knew what gifts to give passengers because they used social media (in particular, Twitter) to first find people who mentioned they were flying out on a KLM flight. They then went a step further to learn something about these customers in order to present them with a gift or experience that added value to their particular situation.
How You Can Use "Surprise & Delight"
#SocialListening, as it is called, is a great way to find people in your area or community to surprise and delight. Look at the fans/followers who engage with your brand consistently on #SocialMedia, what can you do to surprise and delight them? What about your newest fans/followers, what can you do to make them feel extra welcome in your community? Think about how you can add value in a moment of need or celebration. Is a customer or fan having a bad day or celebrating a win? This would be a perfect opportunity to reach out with a thoughtful gift or create an unforgettable moment!
When thinking of how you can implement this tactic for your business, of course you must think about cost. It has to be sustainable. More importantly, you will also need to look at opportunities and moments through your customer’s eyes, so that the gifts you give and moments you create are both meaningful and unforgettable. Done right this will make your brand irresistible to customers, leading to greater brand loyalty and increased sales.
They Use It To Promote And Encourage User-Generated Content
What is User-Generated Content (#UGC)? Simply put, this is any content related to your brand that is created and shared by your customers. If often includes product or service reviews, Q&A’s and photos of customers using products or services.
UGC is probably one of the cheapest and most effective ways to use Social Media to create and deepen brand loyalty while also increasing sales. In fact, a recent *report by Olapic, which surveyed 4500 users on social media (aged 16 - 49, living in USA and Europe) found that user-generated images were more likely to increase engagement and instill trust in a brand than other forms of content. 76% of those surveyed said they find UGC more trustworthy because it comes across as more honest. Another survey done by Bazaarvoice, reported that 84% of Millennials say that UGC influences their purchasing decisions. Today’s consumer needs to be able to visualize real people using your products or services in real life. Incorporating user-generated images into your social media strategy is a great way to achieve this.
Real Life Example
Swimsuits For All (one of my favourite online retailers) uses UGC to highlight and empower real women everywhere to feel sexy and confident rocking their favourite swimwear. Customers are encouraged to tag the company in photos they post online. Photos are then shared by the company on Instagram and Twitter, and there’s even a gallery showcasing real customers in swimwear on their website.
How You Can Use UGC
To kick-start your Social UGC campaign, first ensure that your products and services are already thrilling your customers. 34% of respondents in the Olapic survey said that they created content and tagged their favourite brands because they enjoyed their purchase. You can also consider randomly rewarding customers who are already posting brand related content (maybe a little surprise and delight!). This doesn’t have to be a costly undertaking - you could give recognition by re-posting photos and reviews, offer perks such as letting them be the first to try out new products or swag, give brand cash, gift cards or coupons etc. You could even include these customers in your ad campaigns.
Social Media has given businesses a truly powerful way to connect with customers every day that was not possible before. Use it to your business’ advantage by making it all about the people you serve and less about the products you sell. Do this and watch how irresistible you become to your customers.
*Consumer Trust: Usage & Attitudes Towards User-Generated Visual Content by Olapic