Social media is a great tool for engaging with your customer base, as well as finding new potential clients. It’s also an amazing tool for gathering customer feedback as well as keeping your finger on the pulse. Social platforms were made for people to share their ideas and engage with others, so it works well as a go-to resource for customer feedback.
Social media is a hotbed of content; when navigating its various channels the right way, your brand can garner reviews and feedback as well as user-generated content (UGC) for your own marketing purposes. Mastering social media management comes from knowing your audience, which begins with social monitoring.
Social monitoring includes actively searching for what is being said about your brand online. Social media makes this step very easy, as you can following specific hashtags and monitor your account’s mentions. However, you should go further than that and keep track of your competitors, as well as thought leaders in your industry.
A crucial element of social monitoring is responding to all of the feedback you get: the positive and the negative, as well as the neutral. If customers can rely on you to listen to them and understand their needs, they will feel welcome to engage with you more.
If you have a bug on your site, or a problem with your product, chances are your customers will find it before you do. If you answer them in a timely manner and let them know that you’re working on the issue, they will be more likely to share their opinions on your products and services in the future.
If you have a vast number of followers, it would be wise to invest in social monitoring tools, many of which are free like Pixlee’s Instagram Analytics tool, Keyhole, RiteTag, Hashtagify, and TweetReach..
While social listening can work amazingly, it goes without saying that public displays of feedback are mostly reserved for your extroverted customers, while the introverted ones might be more comfortable with private exchanges. The way to bridge that gap is with social media contests.
Encourage your customers to share their stories or photos of them (using your product or engaging in something related to it) on social media via a unique hashtag, and/or add a direct uploader to your site. If you promote your contest widely on your brand’s social profiles and offer the chance to win a prize or discount, your customers will be incentivized to participate. This not only helps you understand how the community is interacting with your product, but will likely supply you with UGC to use in future campaigns or on your site.
Designing a contest that’s enticing and easy to participate in opens the door to conversation with your brand’s community. Embrace the stories your customers have to tell through their entries, and amplify their voices by sharing their submissions online.
Because contests drive people to have a higher engagement rate with your content, they will be more likely to share, comment, like, and follow, which will show up on their friends’ timelines and in turn, increase the reach of your content, encouraging more people to partake.
Although all types of content posted on Instagram can be interactive, stories present an array of possibilities through links, mentions, and polls. The poll stickers allow you to ask your followers questions, keep an eye on the results, and share answers you particularly like.
There are three types of Instagram polls:polls with a this or that option, a poll with an open-ended question and requires your followers to express themselves through unique answers, and lastly a quiz form that has a predisposed right answer.
Finding the right format for you should be easy enough, leaving you only one worry – the content. Don’t go for the generic multicolored Instagram background, but choose a high-quality picture and make sure your question holds relevance to your followers, and a myriad of different options in answering it.
You can also let your customers ask you questions about your brand and publicly answer them so that others see this incentive and feel that if they also ask questions, they will be heard.
Keep in mind that a certain percentage of your followers value anonymity so if you decide to share their reviews, make sure to establish whether you’re going to share their names later on, and keep an option of staying anonymous. Even if you don’t share someone’s concerns, make sure to answer them privately to show that you value their opinion.
Have you received an outstanding review lately? Are your customers sharing photos of them wearing or using your product? Why don’t you highlight them and share it for your followers to see? Not only does content like that have a higher value, seeing how it showcases an authentic perspective, but it also encourages others to share their photos and experiences with your brand.
User-generated content comes in all different shapes and sizes, so you should make sure to engage in social listening and share your favorites. Share Instagram stories, repost Instagram posts about you, make sure to check who posted pictures with your geo-location, retweet your customers, answer their Reddit questions, and anything else you can think of. Utilizing a collection and curation platform like Pixlee allows you to identify user-generated content based mentions and hashtags associated with your brand, and offers easy permissioning methods so you can safely use UGC to market.
Additionally, look for positive reviews on Yelp, Tripadvisor, Google My Business, and share them on social media for more people to see.
At this stage, it is important to differentiate between social monitoring and social listening. While social monitoring finds what was already said about your brand, social listening entails understanding your audience and creating your future marketing strategy accordingly. Using these tips to identify UGC and customer feedback, you’ll easily gather enough information to create an insightful marketing plan with a high conversion rate.
Petra Odak is a Chief Marketing Officer at Better Proposals, a simple yet incredibly powerful proposal software tool that helps you send high-converting, web-based business proposals in minutes. She’s a solution-oriented marketing enthusiast with more than 5 years of experience in various fields of marketing and project management.