Build Relationships, Build Brands
As with most relationships, communication is key. The success of a business is built on the relationships it fosters with its audiences beyond providing quality products or services. It’s about understanding what they want and giving them the best possible version of it. Engaging with your audience has taken a turn for the simple with today’s technology. With the World Wide Web being available 24/7, the best way to keep the conversation going with your customers is social media.
It’s not as simple as opening a social media account and posting sporadically. Customers thrive on engagement — genuine engagement, that is. Customers today have a keen sense for insincerity from brands, and a perfunctory engagement will only earn your brand perfunctory trust and loyalty. It’s important for your business to understand the importance of genuine investment in keeping the conversation going with your audience.
Making it personal
Customer engagement creates a personal relationship between your business and its customers. That isn’t to say you should be sharing all sorts of personal information with your audience. It’s about fostering a personalised and humanised interaction with your customers via interactivity on social media channels. Strong customer engagement strengthens the relationship between your brand and its audience. Strong relationships build strong customer trust and loyalty.
From the horse’s mouth vs focusing on brand purpose
As a business, it’s easy to get caught up in your brand’s mission, vision, and goals. Meeting your bottom line is always the end goal for businesses. But how you get there is what matters. A strong relationship with your customers allows you to open a line of communication to better understand their wants and needs. It’s hard to look at the bigger picture when you’re so close to the brand (as it is, after all, yours). Customer feedback can give you a better perspective on where the pain points are in your sales funnel.
Knowing your audience
Starting a conversation with someone means getting to know them better. As a business, engaging your customers and creating an interactive line of communication means you develop a deeper understanding of how to better reach your target audience. Talking to them provides you with insight on which marketing decisions work and which don’t. Your brand can then focus its time and effort better on developing marketing campaigns that hit the mark.
Telling your story
When people know you better, they tend to listen better too. Establishing yourself as a reliable and engaging brand on social media means your audiences invest more time to listen to your stories. Creating interactive and engaging content helps you tell your brand story — and gets people listening.
Take Red Bull and their 48 million followers, for example. More than just an energy drink, their social media presence on Facebook has earned them genuine audience engagement. Their Facebook feed doesn’t just feature heart-stopping clips of incredible moments in extreme sports, though they do capitalise on the staggering amount of social media shares their videos garner (video content has proven to generate over 1,200% more shares in comparison to text and image content combined). They also posts how-to guides and posts focusing on health and fitness. This content helps their audience maximise gains from their workouts, as well as improving their physical condition.
Keeping it real
Red Bull is not a rarity in this case. There are a number of brands out there who keep audience engagement going and their brand story thriving. The moral of the story is simple: build genuine relationships to foster genuine trust and loyalty.