With over one billion monthly users out of which as many as 80% follow at least one business. The rate of engagement on Instagram tops all other social media platforms. This should automatically translate to great brand awareness, enduring customer loyalty, and booming sales. However, most businesses are not sure whether they are using Instagram to its full potential. Strong customer relations are extremely important for marketers, especially on Instagram. According to a survey of retail shoppers, trust is the most important factor in the purchase decision. Trust, on Instagram, can be built by high-quality authentic interactions, which contributes to lasting brand loyalty over time. You can use Instagram to build a flourishing customer network by communicating well and frequently on a one-on-one basis. Some tips from expert marketers on strengthening customer loyalty on Instagram:
Focus on Establishing Relationships, Not Increasing the Number of Followers
Many Instagram marketers engage in a race to acquire the largest possible number of followers in the hope that it will give them more opportunity for converting them to lifelong customers. However, the stark reality is that it is usually better to have a smaller number of followers who are passionate about your brand than a larger number of followers with a desultory level of interest in your products. With a smaller number of followers, it is more practical for you to engage in personal interaction that eventually leads to the creation of goodwill and thereafter strong brand loyalty. According to Forbes.com, your audiences need to feel connected to the brand so that they become loyal over time.
On Instagram, marketers can very easily reach out to their followers not only with their posts but also by responding to the comments and complaints made by customers through personalized comments, DMS, and mentions. Not only are your customers happy that you have taken the trouble to listen to them but also resolved their queries and issues. Businesses with a small number of followers with fewer likes can try to create a buzz around their posts with likes from digital marketing agencies like Blastup.com.
Smart marketers know the importance of responding to every comment politely and appropriately. By doing so, it signals the customers that the business is responsible and willing to listen to customers and resolve things. In case, a customer has a complex problem or has been highly enthusiastic in his comments, it is invariably better to address the issue via Direct Messaging as the conversation can be kept private. Similarly, if you want to enter into a dialog with a business collaborator or an influencer, it is better to take the DM route. If you are posting something that has also been covered well by a follower, you can give him a mention in your post to show your appreciation. Similarly, you should go through all your mentions diligently to discover what users are saying about you as this represents valuable feedback to improve your brand, products, and customer service. Responding individually and personally to comments is a time-consuming process but there is no escaping it if you want to be seen as a business that cares about its customers and is willing to listen to them and act on the suggestions or complaints. Try not to be officious because by using a casual and friendly tone, you can expect your customers to respond equally warmly.
Keep the Relationship Alive
Even though marketers are aware of the importance of responding to customer messages on social media, according to one survey, brands respond to only 11% of the feedback they receive. This is tragic because we are in a world where social media is often the choice of customers to seek support for the products they have purchased or voice their dissatisfaction with their brand experience. Instagram marketers need to provide prompt and consistent responses to the comments and questions of customers so that they are seen as responsible brands that take their customers seriously. Additionally, by reaching out to customers from your Instagram profile, you can remind them of your existence and willingness to add value to their lives. It also demonstrates that you are invested in the relationship and want to keep it alive. By posting a mix of images, videos, and Instagram Stories with relevant, engaging, and entertaining content, you can give your followers a good reason to check out your posts and renew their association with your brand. Brands that are willing to actively reach out to their target audiences with more than the basic posts that every content calendar demands invariably do better with customer relationships.
Just because you are a brand, you don’t have to be aloof from everyone who’s not a potential customer or an existing customer. You can always follow individuals that you find interesting and comment on posts that reflect your brand values. Reach out via DMs to the persons you follow when they post Stories or tag people in your content when you know they’ll find it relevant. Rather than just presenting your product lineup, you should attempt to make your Instagram account a hub of positivity and support that can provide customer interaction regularly. By reaching out regularly, you can keep the relationship with your followers alive so that when you ask them for feedback regarding a new product, customer service initiative, or even an advertisement, you can expect an enthusiastic response. The frequency and tone of your communication, however, is of paramount importance. You don’t want to be in the face of customers all the time and irritating them, rather, you should aim to be there when they look out for you.
Building customer relationships has to be done one at a time, and you can expect to put in a lot of effort so that you can benefit from customer loyalty at a later stage. If you only focus on impersonal brand messaging and product promotions, it is unlikely that you will have a particularly vibrant follower community. You should try to make your interactions personal, mutually-beneficial, and regular so that you can win the trust of customers and make them your allies for life.