leverageThe dynamics of business-customer relationships are getting more and more complex in the digital age. People are increasingly interested in building meaningful relationships with companies they are doing business with – and not simply buying products and services from them.

Running a successful business at the present means more than attracting new customers – it means retaining them for a long time. Concepts like customer lifetime value, customer retention strategies and leveraging customer loyalty are among the most important elements in the daily schedule of marketing managers.

And for the last five or six years, companies can rely on an extremely powerful, effective and affordable tool for building strong relationships with their existing and potential customers: social media.

Why Should I Be Active on Social Media?

Even if your business is firmly rooted in the offline world, you cannot afford not to incorporate the power of social media for your daily marketing activities and for a constant and meaningful dialogue with your customers. In this way, you can learn more about their expectations, needs and problems, and you can come forward with creative solutions to them.

How Can I Tie in My Print/Offline Marketing with Social Media Marketing?

A lot of companies have built powerful brand images in the offline world. Think of the major newspapers and glossy magazines. They are the epitome of success in the print world. Yet, they have an active presence on social media, with hundreds of thousands of followers and online issues of their products. Yet, their offline business is still thriving. How is this possible?

The answer is that offline and online marketing strategies should complement each other, add value to each other and not exclude each other. Just consider the fact that every business includes its Facebook, Twitter and YouTube account URL in their print materials such as business cards, brochures, large outdoor ads and magazines. And printed QR codes, three dimensional barcodes which can be read by smartphones and open an internet address, are still popular next to ads, promotional campaigns and discount offers.

What Types of Social Media Platforms Should I Use?

You should not dissipate your efforts on all the social media platforms in existence because you will certainly not be able to build a strong brand image, and create an ongoing and meaningful relationship with your followers. Depending on the industry you operate in, some social media platforms are more effective than others.

For example, if your strong point is the visual presentation of your products, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are the best options for you to showcase your products and make people fall in love with them. Other businesses build customer loyalty through videos shared on YouTube and Facebook. Whatever your favorite social media channel, remember to be consistent with your posting schedule and spread the same brand image throughout all your social media accounts.

Final Thoughts

In the digital age, customer retention is both simpler and more complex than in the traditional, offline marketing world. Companies have faster, more direct access to customers, but at the same time they have to fight more to attract and keep their attention. People are busier than ever, have sorted out their priorities, and are extremely savvy and specific in their expectations from companies they do business with. They expect to find added value beyond a sales proposition and genuine interest in providing information and entertainment without always expecting something in return.

This is the social media age – the right place to be if you want to create strong and meaningful relationships with your clients, and increase your customer retention and lifetime value.

Agree? Disagree? Let’s hear your thoughts below!