Engage your customers with social media

Social media increases customer engagement with your brand

A simple way of increasing customer engagement with your business is to encourage customers to spend time on your website. Social media and online communities are great for doing this. They make your existing website "stickier" by increasing the length of time people spend on your site, and the frequency with which they return.

Online communities also allow you to create an emotional bond with your customers. They provide the opportunity to give "behind the scenes" access into your brand or business and by opening up to your customers you will encourage brand advocacy and loyalty.

Zappos is a great example of this. More than 200 employees, from the CEO down, blog and use Twitter every day, and the posts are read by tens of thousands of followers. The customer relationship is further strengthened by their use of sites like YouTube and Facebook, as well as the ratings and reviews and customer testimonials contained on their online community. Zappo's customer focus has been incredibly successful: in less than ten years it's grown to more than £1bn annual revenues, with 60% of sales coming from repeat buyers.

Still uncertain about how online communities can engage customers? Find out how TM Lewin used social media to engage with both current and prospective customers.

Social media helps charities engage with their supporters

Online communities can also work wonders in the third sector by helping charities engage with their supporters. A not-for-profit community can bring together donors, members, clients, trustees, supporters, and volunteers to a place where they can engage with your cause. In this way, social media marketing will help you understand and monitor evolving issues and will allow members to collaborate, innovate and respond to needs and issues much more quickly.