Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Can you use social media to increase loyalty?

Loyalty us not as easy to define as people think. 
For me loyalty is a graduated thing. Yes, we can say we have loyal customers, but are we getting the maximum possible level of support from them?
Are they buying all of our products/services, visiting our sites regularly and defending and promoting us? Are they as loyal as members of our family?
If that is our goal, the maximum possible level of commitment, can social media help us to achieve this?
Here are four ways you can use social media to build reader loyalty:
1.            Listening and responding to negative sentiment or suggestions posted on all relevant social media channels. People who say negative things about you may have something valid to say. Why not listen to them, examine their issues, and answer them, if you can?
2.            Ask people to recommend or retweet or re post something from you. People talk about "who promotes you scores" as a key metric for understanding loyalty, but the percentage who are willing to take action to recommend or retweet should be a reliable figure too, as it’s not about stating your intentions, it’s about taking action. People may say they will promote you, but not actually do it. I suggest actions speak louder than words. 

3.            Offer real value, updates, background research  & special offers to people who visit your sites and those who sign up to receive posts or Tweets. By making people feel part of a community in some way you will increase engagement and loyalty. Highly engaged site visitors become advocates too. A high percentage of them will recommend you to others. Your Facebook page can provide special offers and your Twitter & Pinterest posts can show photographs of locations you are using. You can also make these offers and updates local by getting local outlets to take part in this campaign, so that readers/site visitors build relationships with their nearest physical outlet.

4.            You can track if customers are happy using social media too. You can do this buy asking them direct questions, via surveys/posts, and by monitoring any replies/posts they create on the subject. This is being proactively interested. You may not incorporate customers ideas in what you do next, but being open to ideas is a good thing. It shows respect for your customers. It also encourages engagement.

Engagement is a key metric for social media. How many retweets, posts, photographs and comments people contribute is one measure of engagement. How that compares to your overall number of visitors and followers is another.
But there are deeper measures of engagement too. How often are people coming back to each social media channel? Are people using many aspects of your social media, for instance are they posting pictures to a Facebook wall?
Some highly engaged people contribute in a truly significant way to sites, such as editors at Wikipedia, and contributors to self supporting literary forums. Can your site accommodate such highly engaged visitors?
And do you want such high levels of engagement? It's up to you to decide.
Thankfully, you can change your mind too as the social media world develops around us.
That’s one of the best things about social media. It’s not a world set in stone.      
You can test, retest, and change. 
I welcome any input to this article about using social media to increase loyalty.

To support this site - over 60 free posts so far on social media for you to explore - please buy my guide to social media. And enjoy!


  1. All good points. Make sure that the reactions to the negative comments are emotionally guided else you'll be sinking to a lower level and lose loyalty altogether. Make sure the response is intelligent, acknowledges the commenter's concern with either a valid defense or a statement that you will study the problem and consider a change.

  2. You walk your talk, and that is profound. I found your blog from a reply to a tweet. Yes, to tequila, yes to loyalty, and yes to seizing the day. Now, I've bookmarked your blog and will return after the villan smacks the hero around.

  3. Social Media is so important to help get your name out there. Loyalty will stir up more when you find readers who really enjoy your writing and point of view, or feel like they can learn something from you. The future of publishing is online and social media is the main way to get your work out there, build a fan base, interact and respond to the market and gauge your readers perspectives either negative or positive.

    Great post! It is important that authors try these avenues to grow their readers and may even enjoy interacting with them as well! Tiana