Social media is an integral part of most modern business strategies. It’s paramount if you’re breaking into new audiences and generating leads, but seeking prospects isn’t the only thing it can help you accomplish. When it comes to keeping current customers loyal and on board with your brand’s vision, few channels have the potential to work better.
Audience retention is critical if you want to keep your revenues going strong. This article will take a look at some of the elements that play a role in maintaining your audiences on social media and how you can optimize to attain the best retention outcomes.
Put the emphasis on your audience first
It’ll be difficult to keep an audience around if you aren’t thinking from their perspective while planning your retention strategy. You’ll need to start thinking like your customers, and to do this, you should ask yourself some basic questions, such as:
- What shared problems does your audience face?
- How does your business help them solve those problems?
- Why are they engaging with your brand on social media?
- How are they engaging with your brand on social media?
- Is your social media content providing them with value?
- What is the user experience like on your typical customer’s journey?
- Are you listening to feedback and rewarding loyalty?
Once you understand your audience, it’ll be easier for you to put yourself in their shoes as you explore the various elements that play into retention. This, in turn, will allow you to plan with a measure of empathy and connect with them in a genuine manner.
Keep your approach to content current
Social media moves quickly, so maintaining an audience will require you to stay on your toes and keep pace with the changes.
You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the most current social media marketing trends, for starters, so that you’re creating impactful content and that resonates with the large majority of social media audiences. For example:
- An increasing number of users are turning to Instagram to discover worthwhile brands and products that align with their interests.
- As a response, Instagram has given businesses the ability to sell their wares directly on the platform through the Instagram Shopping feature.
- Audiences now expect to be able to make some purchases without leaving the Instagram app
- Your business, in turn, should be targeting current and potential customers with these sorts of posts to stay relevant and keep audience engagement high.
Make sure you’re clued in on the latest social media developments so that you can adjust your approach when new features and forms of content become available.
Build a connection with your audience
Part of the reason people engage on social media is because it allows them to forge relationships with others. This holds true when they’re interacting with your brand, so you’re more likely to get an audience to stick with you if you’re able to create genuine connections.
Your content is part of this, and it should be as authentic as possible so as not to come off as overly-promotional or fake. Creating content is only part of the equation, though, as building a connection also requires you to engage with your audience in return.
For instance, let’s say you’re an influencer trying to make an impact within your niche. Generally speaking, you should stay active in the comments on everything you post, pose conversation-sparking questions to your audience, and share other posts that pertain to your field or that you think your audience will find interesting.
A small business might do much of the same, but could engage in additional activities that would work toward humanizing their brand. Some of these activities might include:
- Granting a peek behind the scenes at your office.
- Highlighting the contributions of your team on different parts of services.
- Showcasing customer testimonials.
- Talking about company culture events.
- Highlighting volunteer work in the community.
- Taking part in social issues.
Whether you’re a solo influencer, small business, or rapidly growing organization, you should employ some of these techniques so that you can forge a relationship with your audience. The more you foster an active community among current and future customers, the more likely they are to stick with you and provide repeat business.
Take feedback and social listening seriously
Social media is a two-way street. Beyond creating content and posting your own comments, you’ll get plenty of feedback from current and prospective customers alike.
You’ll want to take advantage of a technique known as social listening, so that you can track the conversations that people are having about you online and learn what the overall public thinks about your brand.
Combined with direct feedback from followers, you can put together actionable insights on what people want from you. From there, it’s just a matter of making reasonable adjustments and performing some outreach to help retain your audience.
For example, you might learn through social listening that a sizable portion of customers are having an issue with a product you recently launched. You can now get proactive, reaching out to those customers to right the situation and acknowledging the situation to mitigate concerns among the rest of your audience.
You’ll have to be flexible to make feedback work in your favor, though, so check your ego at the door and roll with the punches as you delve into what people are saying about you or your business.
Building an audience is difficult, and retaining one is arguably tougher.
Though there are many elements to audience retention, one characteristic that will help you across the board is adaptability. You’ll need to be willing to change based upon new information, and that willingness to go with the flow will help you provide your audience with what they’re after while keeping them in your corner for the long haul.