The secret lies in your own social media presence. Your followers are already your captive audience, and many other customers generate chatter online about their purchases and favorite products.

Just by incorporating a few simple strategies into your current social media routine, you can transform your following into an ongoing focus group that’s more effective than you ever thought possible. You just need to know what to post and where to look.

1. Publish interactive content

When you post social media marketing content, you’re ultimately hoping that viewers will engage with it. You want to see likes, views, shares, and comments.

An appealing photo of your product along with an energetic caption may garner a few likes from your faithful followers, but most users will scroll by without revealing their reaction.

If you want that information, you’ve got to post content that your followers can’t resist.

Initiate conversations that generate feedback

Instead of trying to draw affirmation from customers by constantly posting about how great your product is, it’s more productive to create content that starts a conversation.

Try posting a photo or status message with a fun question that’s easy to answer.

Since these questions are usually a matter of personal preference, it gives people an opportunity to share their personality or maybe some small detail about their lifestyle.

This is a fantastic way for you to start building relationships with customers. It helps you get real user feedback on your product and services. Sharing responses is easy for you and gratifying for them. Plus, it encourages people to interact.

Provide a way to submit feedback privately

When you’re looking for feedback, don’t forget about quiet users that don’t want to put themselves out there on a public page. They might be more interested in volunteering opinions privately.

Use interactive features to educate and entertain

You can also use polls to educate customers about a topic related to a product or service your business offers. This way, you provide value to the customer while increasing traffic on your page.

Use customer surveys to get more info

Some situations call for an all-out survey. For example, if you’re in the brainstorming stage of product development, a customer survey can be a great way to get ideas from your customer base.

2. Actively encourage customer feedback

We don’t need to tell you about the importance of making a good first impression. But one angle you may not have considered is that many people encounter your brand for the first time on social media.

One reason for this is that social media is steadily becoming the go-to place to find customer reviews and video testimonials.

Here are a few ways to put your best face forward on your social media accounts at all times.

Interact with comments on your page

Showing consumers that you care about their perspectives is a critical aspect of any customer service strategy.

If responding to multiple comments per day sounds overwhelming, think of it as a way to give your followers some positive attention in return for publicly engaging with your content.

Remember, it’s not just one person that you’re addressing when you post replies — each comment is seen by an untold number of scrolling spectators who are looking for the same information. And it goes without saying that most of them wouldn’t have bothered to comment and ask.

All of these responses reveal information about Nordstrom’s customer base and the value of their social media content.

Amplify good reviews

You can also use your page to amplify positive customer reviews. Joining in the enthusiasm of happy customers promotes good vibes and gives those rave reviews twice the hype.

Build a community

Once you’ve created a friendly environment on your social media page, work on strengthening that sense of community.

Some brands come up with an affectionate name for their fan base to unite their followers into one big happy family.

3. Reach out to followers via direct messaging

The goal of social media presence for a brand is not just to get publicity and feedback — it’s also to build relationships with customers.

Through direct messaging, you can give more people your brand’s signature customer service experience without face-to-face interaction.

Here are a few ways to take advantage of DMs.

Connect with users who show interest

If you’re monitoring social media closely enough, you’ll notice potential brand loyalists who are consistently active on your page or people who go out of their way to give you shout-outs.

To connect with people you need to follow the right social media outreach practices that don’t look spammy.

Surprising happy customers in their DMs are an excellent way to go above and beyond in a way that will inspire customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Pop into their DMs to say hello and offer a small perk, like a discount or gift voucher! It’s an easy gesture for you, but it means a lot to them.

Social media is also a great place to discover individuals with a growing following. Aspiring influencers routinely tag businesses in their content, hoping to be noticed by brands that might leave a comment, share posts, or even consider sponsoring content.

Because influencers are admired by their followers for their taste and appealing lifestyle, exposure like this is extremely positive for your business. Customers trust recommendations from friends, family, and peers much more than anything coming directly from your marketing content.

Also, you can take social media services from a good social media agency that helps you get more effective feedback for your business through social media.

Address complaints from dissatisfied customers

Gracefully handling negative feedback are one of the most important aspects of customer service. Like it or not, customers will form buying decisions based on how you respond to those who have had bad experiences with your product or service.

By responding, you de-escalate the situation, indirectly reassure onlookers that everything is under control, and demonstrate your team’s professionalism and dedication to resolving the issue.

The goal is to dissolve their frustration and let you make it up to them. Sometimes the happiest customers are those whose issues were resolved swiftly and cheerfully by customer service reps.

4. Utilize broader social listening tools

If you want to take full advantage of the vast world of social media, go beyond your own page and learn how your products are fitting into your customers’ lifestyles.

You can leverage a good social media management tool such as Vista Social for publishing, scheduling, social listing, commenting, and other tasks and get better results.

Track your social media mentions

When users tag your social media account, they’re hoping for some attention. It’s always a nice gesture to join the conversation, especially if you have something helpful to add.

Search hashtags to keep up with the buzz surrounding your brand. Whether or not they’ve reached influencer status, many people use hashtags to show off what products they’re using and enjoying.

As you can see from the above post, hashtags make it super easy for you to see what moods, products, experiences, or general categories your customers associate with your brand.

Track untagged chatter about your brand

Regardless of whether users have gone to the trouble of tagging your account or using a hashtag indicating your brand, there are other ways of getting the inside scoop.

Social eCommerce is the best example of trading through social media. In this process, you can sell your products using different social media platforms.

Setting up Google Alerts is one way to be notified when certain keywords or topics come up.

More involved platforms like Mention, Sprout Social, Facebook Insights, and LinkedIn Insight offer analytic tools that allow you to dig deep into several aspects of your customer base.

Putting your ear to the ground and understanding what already interests potential customers is one main goal of social listening. It’s much easier to offer something they already want than to interest them in something else.

Actively follow topics and trends that interest your customers

Understanding why customers buy your product or service is like thinking ten moves ahead in a game of chess: it takes persistent concentration, but it puts you in a winning position.

So, get into their headspace. Become an expert on all aspects of their lifestyle. It’ll make your brand more relatable, and you’ll know how to offer value to your customers.

Final Words

If your social media content falls flat more often than you’d like, you’re not alone. But you may need to freshen up your approach.

Rest assured, your customers have opinions. All they need from you is an incentive to share them.

When you become engaging and receptive to feedback, your customers will pick up on it.

They’ll see you putting in the extra effort. And customers that feel heard are much more likely to speak up.