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How to Engage Social Consumers

Although the tools available to brand managers have evolved in recent times due to technology, the concepts of Brand Loyalty and Reputation still carry weight, and these two pillars are still based on consumer experience. And the best way to learn about customer experience is straight form the horse’s mouth, from the consumers themselves.

Nowadays consumers tell us about their experiences through social media, zealously sharing their experiences both positive and negative. They are either clicking that “like” button, or writing up a scathing review on yelp.

When on social media like Facebook, consumer review sites, or directories and retail sites, consumers are out there talking about your business. Here are four key things to do to engage you social consumers now:

1) Find Out Where You Stand

The first thing you need to do is to get a sense of what’s being said about your business online right now. Start off by doing a web search of your business and the keyword “reviews.” Follow up by checking consumer review sites such as Yelp, Yellowpages.com, Insider’s Pages, and Angie’s List. Finally, explore Open Table, Merchant.com, Groupon, Yahoo Local, Bing Local, Google Places,Citysearch, and Local.com, for more info pertaining to your business.

2) Get People Interacting

If people aren’t really talking about your business yet, start some conversation by asking them for their opinion.

  • Ask your customers to review your company on sites that pertain to your particular niche.
  • Ask for feedback through social media such as Facebook or Twitter.
  • Ask what’s on your fans’ minds by using Facebook’s Questions feature or Tumblr’s Ask Me Anything plugin.
  • Request client feedback on the completion of projects. Insert links into your completion reports that link to feedback areas on your website that allow your customers to offer their opinion at any time.

3) Monitor your Social Consumers

21st century entrepreneurs who care what their customers think make listening a park of their marketing strategy. Be sure to request customer feedback while you track everyday conversations online about your business.

  • Monitor mentions of your business using Twitter
  • Use your Facebook page and search to track questions, comments, and posts about your brand.
  • Set up queries related to your business (and your niche) on Google Alerts and Social Mention.
  • Review all pertinent social media with a web-based dashboard like Hootsuite, or an email-based collection system like NutshellMail.

4) Respond to Feedback

Finally, use the customer feedback you’ve collected to take actions like:

  • Making improvement to your business
  • Introduce new products or services
  • Identify new niches
  • Share the positive feedback across other social media channels
  • Recruit fans to offer customer testimonials
  • Thank customers for their feedback