And yet a new trend is emerging, with organizations breaking through industry regulations to better engage with consumers on social media. Today, companies in industries ranging from automotive, financial to medical device companies are using social media (and particularly Facebook Pages) to build meaningful relationships.
Beyond taking your content strategy to the next level, here are five lessons businesses across all industries can leverage to build relationships with customers — and influence their purchase decisions:
1. Make it easy for people to share their story.
Plain and simple: people love to talk about themselves. When businesses are able to find a way to play a part in that positive lift, they win. Case in point: our client Medtronic Diabetes is a medical device company. Since people are the focal point of their business, the company wanted to make its customers a huge part of the brand. They use their “Share Your Story” Facebook app to ask customers to submit pictures of themselves living their best life with an insulin pump or continuous glucose monitor.
Whether it’s a family vacation to Paris or a bike ride in the park, these life moments are added to the company’s own Facebook Timeline as milestones for the community to read and use a source for inspiration to live a full life with diabetes. When your customers are happy, your business will be too — so find a way to let people feel good and share their story about how your brand makes a difference in their lives.
2. Leverage the social in social media.
Businesses have the opportunity to use Facebook as a way to provide customers not only with great service, but a means of connecting and inspiring one another. Brands like Weight Watchers and Nike Women have also demonstrated how valuable Facebook can be for bringing together people facing similar daily obstacles.
Social media serves as a tool for those who may not have an outlet or support system to find one another. When using these tools, constantly think about the social aspect: how can you connect your audience and strengthen your relationship?
3. Make it about the customer, not about the product.
American Express’ OPEN Forum has surely surpassed customer expectations when it comes to putting a customer first. Developed for small business owners as a place to share and exchange ideas with one another, the forum has helped countless small business owners excel.
Instead of heavily pushing their traditional financial offerings, Amex has thought about its consumers and what they’re looking for while providing information about their services. When you help your customer via social media, you’re more likely to build a long-lasting relationship — which will in turn propel your brand awareness and growth.
4. Take every opportunity to gain feedback.
Lays Potato Chips recently launched a Facebook contest asking U.S. fans to help create its next chip flavor for its 75th anniversary next year. Lays teamed up with Facebook to change the Like button to an “I’d eat that” button. The contest has been previously launched in 14 other countries generating more than 8 million chip flavor ideas globally.