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Too many businesses lose contact with their customers shortly after they complete their purchase. If you do not continue to engage with your customers after the sale, there is little chance of turning them into repeat, loyal customers.

Social media has made it even easier for businesses to engage with their customers on a regular basis, increasing the bond between them and boosting loyalty.

Customers like the ease of interacting with their favorite businesses online. At least one in five people are active users on social networks, so the chance that many of your own customers are going social is pretty high.

Sign up with one or two of the major social networks, like Google+ and Facebook and use these five tips to strengthen customer loyalty:

Encourage Customer Feedback

Customers love an opportunity to give their opinion, so make sure you let them know you want their feedback. What do they think of the products they’ve tried? What improvements would they like to see? If you are developing new products, ask them to give you some insight. Find out how well your business is doing at handling customer service issues.

All of these things will not only make your customers feel more valued, it will give you a different point of view on how your products and services are being viewed by customers. You can find out what areas need improvement and what changes should be made.

Hold Contests

Winning is another thing people love. Holding an occasional contest for your fans and followers is a great way to tighten the bond between the customer and the brand. It will also go a long way toward increasing the number of followers you get on social media because your current fans will share the news of your contest.

Give away one of your own products or another item that will generate a lot of buzz among your followers. You can hold any type of contest you want: photo contest, trivia contest, etc. Make sure you are following the rules for holding contests on social networks, though, to avoid any trouble.

Respond Quickly

Social customers want you to engage with them as often as possible. If they leave a comment or question for you, make sure you are responding to them as soon as possible. You cannot expect customers to interact with you if you fail to engage as well.

Use Fresh, Interesting Content

Have a schedule for updating your social media content each day (more often if you think it’s needed). It is also important for you to make sure you are posting content that will appeal to your fans. Text-only posts do not get as much response from followers as photos and videos.

When you post, give it an interesting headline that will make fans stop and engage with you, either by leaving a comment, sharing or “liking.” The more engaging your content, the more often your fans are going to visit your page.

Be Active in Your Offline Community

While a lot of interaction takes place online, don’t forget the power of offline community interaction with your customers. Holding special events at your location and sponsoring local teams and events will get you positive reviews from your customers and the community at large.

When you build a following offline, you will find more people wanting to engage with you online. They will be more loyal to your brand because they see you supporting the community.

Customers who are happy with your products and services are ready to support you both online and offline. Start building loyalty with your customers by engaging with them online and do more around the community to increase the recognition of your brand.

What do you do to build customer loyalty? How often do you reach out to your community both online and offline?

Dawn Pigoni of Be Social Worldwide is a certified social marketing specialist and a social media virtual assistant. Dawn offers superb social networking, social marketing and social bookmarking to WAHMs, Small Business Owners, Internet Marketers, Affiliate Marketers, and Coaches who desire to bring stunning internet presence through social networking to their businesses. Get Dawn’s free report, Social Networking today & see how she can assist you with being Social Worldwide!

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