Looking for ways to improve your customer engagement should always be on your agenda.

For even the most successful brands and businesses, staying ahead of the game isn’t always easy. It involves hard work, innovation, and continually seeking new ways to approach, engage and gain new customers.

customer engagementNever fear: it can be easier than you think, and this handy guide narrows down some of the most proven ways that your SME can turn around your customer engagement practices, so they not only meet but beat your competitors.

1. Focus on social media marketing

The growth of social media in recent years has seen it become a medium used by a staggering 42% of the world’s population, with over 3 billion users worldwide. This medium, therefore, can give businesses the perfect opportunity to not only locate and source but further engage and interact, with potential consumers. Social media provides the ideal online platform for small business enterprises to listen, connect and share with their customers in exciting ways that show a human side. It can make all the difference when it comes to forming a relationship with new customers who are getting to grips with your brand, services and what you can offer them that no other company can.

Popular features of social media platforms which a business can use for customer engagement include:

  • Live video streaming.
  • Posts that can be shared, liked and commented on.
  • Photo sharing.
  • Competitions and giveaways.
  • Behind-the-scenes marketing.
  • Direct messaging.

Sharing clever visuals, aesthetic photos and entertaining content can see your SME instantly engage with customers and your target audience in real time. Aim to maximise on online trends and stories that relate to your business or enterprise, as this can make your brand both relevant and appealing. For SMEs it can be hard to stand out, so utilise social media to build your brand, and develop not only relationships with customers but your USP, as well.

For help in developing a social media marketing campaign, and comparing with the actions of your competitors – you should seek out an audit of your channels from a free service like that provided by Max Your Web. Simply input your channel details, and those of your competitors and work out a plan of action that will attract new customers to achieve the best results in turning fans and followers into potential customers.

2. Get creative with campaigns

Another main draw for customers and consumers in this day and age are creative campaigns. A marketing campaign is far more likely to resonate with your target audience if it is clever, original and memorable. Consider ways to use direct mail marketing, such as 3D mail and personalised direct mail. Your social media posts should contain unique and entertaining information that appeals to your audience and makes them return to read more. Doing so will show you are an SME that can be taken seriously in the given market, that can provide customers with fresh, exciting and new content regularly. The more memorable and informative a campaign is, the more it will be discussed and shared. It really is that simple.

3. Ask for feedback

Feedback might be the last thing you want to hear, but it is essential to listen to your customers so you can understand what it is they need from you as a company. Your customers can let you know what works for them, and what doesn’t. Customers will also feel valued if you listen to their advice and act on it. It will show you are an SME who keeps their customers in mind and puts them first, working with them to build a solid relationship going forward. This personal attention to detail is how your company will stand out to others. Do not underestimate the power of listening and responding to feedback. They can provide you with answers to questions such as:

  • The best ways to contact them.
  • Your most popular products.
  • The content they have found helpful/unhelpful.
  • Any room for improvement in the services you provide.

4. Encourage free trials and incentives

One way to get customers initially engaged with your product is to offer free trials of services or products for a limited amount of time. Doing so can bring customers on board more easily, as they are not immediately parting with their money, and it can influence their decision-making process if they find the experience a positive one.

Although you should tread carefully when it comes to what you are offering for free, you are still creating engagement with your product. Incentives for existing customers are a great way to retain these customers and build on an existing relationship, to stop these customers going elsewhere. Your company values their custom, and through offering rewards or deals for their loyalty, you can further build and potentially increase the level of custom.

If your business model for customer engagement seems tired, these are a few simple strategies to take on board that can see your customer engagement boost. Keep in mind the value of customer engagement looking forward, so you don’t miss out on vital opportunities to not only retain customers but increase sales and expansion easily.

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