Is there a way to educate about your brand, create loyal customers, improve your company’s reputation, and expand your reach? That’s a great question! There is a way to do those things, and that is through customer engagement. Customers are the most important part of your business. Without them, you don’t exist. Therefore, any time spent engaging with them, building trust, and nurturing relationships is time well spent. It will reap benefits that will directly affect your return on investment.
Hubspot defines engagement as, “the process of interacting with customers through a variety of channels and strengthening your relationship with them.” They go on to explain that, “this process begins with the first interaction with a customer and extends beyond the point of purchase.”
So, how do we engage with customers? There are many ways--email, social media, websites, community forums, or any other platform where your audience is interacting or searching for content.
So, is customer engagement really that important?
The short answer is yes.
Customer engagement is very important. Here are just a few of the benefits it provides:
It helps you know your audience.
Engaging with your audience helps you to know them better. You can discover the social media platforms they are using, when they are most active, how they respond to different types of communication, and what they are saying about your business or brand. Participating and listening to existing perceptions of your business and patterns of your audience will help you discover new and creative ways to communicate with them, which can lead to even better engagement in the future.
It cultivates relationships.
When you start engaging with your audience, you will start building relationships. These relationships are essential to the reputation of your business, not only with your existing customers, but also with your target audience. While you can’t expect relationships to build overnight, it is worth the effort and patience to build these important connections. Purposeful and consistent engagement will help build rapport and trust over time. Once built, a solid reputation and satisfied customers will reap great rewards for your business in the long run.
It establishes credibility.
Audience engagement shapes the view of your business or brand. The more your audience sees your message, the more they can see your company’s credibility and the expertise you provide in your industry. Engagement shows your commitment to your customers and the solutions you can provide for them. Even if your interactions don’t always result in sales, establishing credibility in your niche is an important part in any long-term marketing plan.
It provides value.
Engaging with your audience provides them value by answering their questions or offering solutions to the problems they face. When you communicate consistently, you continue to provide ongoing value through content. Not only should your content address you audience’s interests and needs, but it should also provide them with value for their time. For example, when sending e-mails or posting to social media, consider the days, times, and frequency that works best for your audience. Considering their needs and convenience provides an additional layer of value, which will make them much more likely to continue to engage with your business or brand.
It evaluates effectiveness.
One of the important evaluation metrics for a marketing campaign is audience engagement. This can be measured in different ways, but it is a great way to assess your current position with your audience and determine what you are doing well and where you should improve. Don’t forget to study the analytics of your social media accounts, emails, and other engagement campaigns to see how your business or company is being received. Your engagement (or lack of engagement) will tell you a lot about where you should adjust and help you set goals for the future.
Engagement is an ongoing process that requires patience and diligence. If you would like help developing or implementing a customer engagement plan, contact the team at The Social Bullpen.