Continuing its phenomenal growth rate, Instagram has crossed the magic figure of 1 billion monthly users and consolidated its position as one of the most powerful social media platforms for marketers.
Not only are the engagements rates of Instagram far better than the rest of the social media but also reportedly more than 80% of its users follow at least one business on the platform. Even if these statistics and more make Instagram a very attractive destination for brands, you need to figure out whether you are using Instagram to its best possible potential. A PWC study of retail shoppers in 2018 points out that trust in the brand is the biggest factor in the decision of where a customer buys the merchandise.
Encouraging and holding authentic interaction with users are among the best ways of building enduring trust and customer loyalty on Instagram. The quality of personalized messages, the frequency of the interaction, as well as word-of-mouth recommendations all act to make your customer relationships strong. Some tips on building the foundations of valuable customer relationships on Instagram:
Focus On Building Engagement Not the Follower Count
There has always been a tendency among marketers to show off their follower counts. It is really very easy to acquire real Instagram followers by engaging agencies like Gramblast. As important as having a large number of followers is, it is even more important that they are active and loyal to your brand.
As a smart marketer, you should focus on engaging them with personal interactions that will bring about the desired goodwill and hopefully, brand loyalty and purchases eventually.
When you have a business profile on Instagram, it is very easy to reach out and interact with followers. Make it a point to address each follower with a personalized response so that they know that their feedback and opinions are being individually heard and appreciated by the company.
For real and meaningful customer engagement, it is not enough to like their comments only. Taking the trouble to type out a response to each and every comment made by a user is appreciated. And if the issue is something that everybody has an opinion on, it can mean a really long string of comments, and shows how committed users are to the brand.
As a marketer, be sure to respond cheerfully and enthusiastically to every comment that a user makes. DMs are among the best ways of interacting with users when the conversation needs to be done privately on a one-to-one basis. DMs are recommended especially when the issue is complex and needs long explanations or clarifications. They are especially handy for resolving problems that customers may have had in their brand experience.
In addition, business relationships or influencer conversations are better conducted with DMs. As a proactive brand manager, you can make it a point to keep on reaching out by responding to the Instagram Stories posted by your followers with likes, thanks for mentions to show that your interest in them is not only for selfish purposes.
Mentions have been likened to being shorthand for something or someone that needs your attention. It is important to peruse carefully what customers are saying about you and your brands. When they tag you, you should try to find out the reason for their action and who else has been tagged. This analysis can reveal valuable customer feedback as well as trends that may be important.
While it is definitely time-consuming to respond to individual customer comments, it is very important that the responses you send out are personalized and not pre-determined. It is important to note that Instagram is a place for people to hang out and pursue their interest so it is a big plus to drop a formal and stiff attitude and adopt a friendly and relaxed manner.
Create A Feedback Loop That Is Positive In Nature
According to a 2016 report by SproutSocial, on customer behavior on social media, it comes across that a dismaying 89% of messages on social media go unacknowledged by brands. It is very important for businesses to be consistent and timely in their responses to questions, comments, and complaints by customers as social media is fast becoming the channel of preference for customer support.
One of the easiest ways of reminding customers of your continued existence and intention to add value to them is establishing contact regularly from your Instagram business profile. You can carve out a competitive edge and be in a position to delight your customers with a response time that is really quick.
It is not necessary for you to always be in a reactive state. Rather than waiting for customers to comment so that you can reply, you can keep up a steady flow of contents on your account. When you have a publishing schedule that is consistent and continuous, you give an opportunity to your followers to keep on checking your account more frequently to see what is new.
Even if you are a leading brand in your category, you should never be laid back in your customer contact. Irrespective of whether they are long-time followers or new leads, never be afraid of reaching out as frequently as you can. You can comment on posts that fit the values of your brand, respond to Stories via DM, and also tag followers in content that you know they will find interesting.
When you establish contact on a regular basis, you are sure to see your followers also responding to the content you post and interacting with you on a variety of issues. Having a responsive follower base can be very important when you want product feedback or gauge how your advertising is working. As with every interaction, you have to ensure that you keep the quality high and not flood followers with comments or messages all the time.
Social media marketing and Instagram are no exceptions to the rule; reciprocity is the name of the game. The way to building enduring customer relationships is to start one customer at a time, and ensure that the interaction is personalized to the maximum. With interaction that is consistent, personal, and mutually beneficial, Instagram will emerge as a social media network of preference for building trust and customer loyalty for life.
Featured Image Credit: Unsplash
Kristen Smith has been working on the importance of social media in marketing with thousands of real Instagram followers for his postings. You can visit Gramblast for more information.
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