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How Businesses Use Social Media to Connect With Customers: A Complete Guide

how businesses use social media

It’s impossible to run a successful business today without utilizing social media.

About 90 percent of U.S.-based businesses use social media for marketing at this point. And it won’t be surprising at all if that number reaches 100 percent in the very near future.

Many businesses have started using social media because it allows them to connect with their customer base. They’re able to maintain connections with customers by implementing social media strategies. This leads to stronger sales and bigger profits.

Take a closer look at how businesses use social media in 2018 to stay better connected with people.

Businesses Provide Special Offers to Customers Who Follow Them on Social Media

Most businesses use some form of the same strategy to entice people to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media networks.

The businesses tell their customers they’ll provide them with special offers if they agree to follow them. They might offer 10 percent off a purchase or a free promotional product for a follow.

This allows businesses to build up their following on social media. It also allows customers to feel appreciated for taking the time to follow a business.

Both sides feel like they win in this equation, and it works out well for businesses that want to get more people to follow them.

They Ask Customers to Take Part in Discussions With Them

Once businesses build up their follower count on the various social media platforms, they can start to put their following to good use.

Most businesses have a social media coordinator in charge of holding discussions with customers on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. Often times, the coordinator will put up a piece of content on social media in the hopes of generating discussion among customers.

The content might be something as simple as a photo of a slice of pizza. But the goal is to get people talking about the content and interacting with the brand behind it.

If a social media coordinator is able to start a conversation around content, it usually leads to more people getting involved in it and sharing the content elsewhere. This allows the business’ name to get out there in the world more. It also introduces the business to new potential customers and/or followers.

They Solicit Content From Customers and Share It for Them

If businesses are working all the angles and using social media effectively, they’re doing more than just generating their own content. They’re also using content created by customers to their advantage.

In some cases, this content might be freely provided by a customer. For example, a customer might take a funny photo of themselves in a business and share it on the business’ Facebook page.

In other cases, the business might actively ask customers to create content and send it to them. For instance, a pizza shop might tell customers to send them photos of people eating pizza in crazy places.

Either way, businesses can benefit from soliciting content from their customers. They’re able to create real connections with customers by doing this and build more interest in their social media activity.

They Give Customers Behind-the-Scenes Looks at Their Businesses

Many businesses use social media to do more than just interact with customers. They also use it to provide them with behind-the-scenes looks at what goes on inside of companies.

Businesses can build up a healthy buzz around a forthcoming product or service by giving followers a sneak peek at it on social media. They can put up a photo that gives a glimpse of what’s to come or even put together a video trailer that showcases something new.

People really appreciate when businesses do this because it makes them feel like they’re a part of something special. It creates a connection that wouldn’t otherwise exist while also allowing businesses to create some excitement around something they’re working on at the moment.

They Respond to Customer Complaints and Requests in Real-Time

As recently as just a few years ago, you needed to call a customer service hotline or send an email to complain to a business about a product or service.

Not anymore! These days, customers can file a complaint or make a request of a business right on social media. It allows businesses to clear up problems quickly. It also holds them more accountable than they’ve been in the past.

There are, unfortunately, some companies that haven’t gotten with the program yet when it comes to dealing with customer complaints and requests online. They look behind the times as a result of it.

But many businesses are handling customer complaints and requests online admirably. It’s making them look more trustworthy in the eyes of many customers. That trust is serving as the foundation for the connection that exists between businesses and customers.

They Find Ways to Elicit Feedback From Customers

Many customers use social media to force businesses to deal with complaints. But many businesses use it to get immediate feedback from their customers.

Companies don’t have to spend a ton of time and money holding focus groups anymore. Instead, they can use social media to see what people think about certain products and services.

Businesses love receiving feedback right away from customers. And customers appreciate being asked for their thoughts. It serves as yet another way in which businesses and customers connect as a result of social media.

Learn More About How Businesses Use Social Media

Many experts believe companies have only scratched the surface as far as how businesses use social media. In the years to come, it’s likely that businesses will find even more innovative ways to do it. It’ll make them more connected to customers.

In the meantime, businesses are going to continue to connect with customers in all the ways listed here. It’ll allow them to form deeper bonds with customers and improve their overall operations.

Read our blog to see which digital branding strategies you should use to make your business stand out.