How do you feel about your customers? Go ahead and be honest. Are they a “necessary evil” or you “like them as long as they don’t complain” or maybe you truly believe “they’re the reason I love what I do”? Whatever you really think, there’s no denying that your customers hold the keys to making your company more successful.
Why is that?
First of all, your customers already understand your brand’s value proposition, making them a natural fit for cross-selling and upselling of additional products and services. And they’re the ones you turn to for logos and case studies that lure top prospects into the sales pipeline. Customers are also the best folks to recommend your company since people trust friends and colleagues more than they trust brands.
So how do you create a customer experience that makes customers want to buy more AND help get the word out about your brand? Yes, a great product and top-notch customer care are hugely important. But maybe you should be spending even more time telling customers how awesome your company is…
Or is there a better way?
Become your customers’ best advocate
Ironically, the best way to get your customers to do more on your behalf is to do more on their behalf. You know, help them build their brand and find more business. Of course, you have lots of customers so that can represent quite the time commitment. And how exactly do you make that happen? The good news is social media has made it easy to become your customers’ best advocate.
With that in mind, here are eight ways to make your customers look awesome on social media:
- Share their content. Start liking, tweeting, and sharing your customers’ latest social media updates and blog posts. You’re only one-click away from amplifying the reach of their brand content.
- Promote their events. Let your social networks know about your customers’ webinars, conferences, and special events. Help them get the signups they need.
- Recommend them. Look for opportunities to recommend customers on social media by saying how cool they are, writing reviews about their services, referencing them in blog posts, etc.
- Congratulate them. Nothing’s easier than giving a social high-five when a customer wins an award, closes a big deal, or lands in the Gartner Magic Quadrant.
- Thank them. Everyone likes to be acknowledged so recognize them on social media for being a great customer, saying nice things about your company, or even picking up the check at lunch.
- Participate in their events. Ask questions during customer webinars, promote their conference hashtags, and jump into their Twitter chats. Your event activity will be noticed and appreciated.
- Come to their aid. We all need friends when things go south. Always be there for your customers and defend them on social media against the haters in times of crisis.
- Help them create content. Your customers are struggling to feed the content marketing machine. So give them a heads up when there’s good content to share and help find guest contributors for their blog.
Keep in mind you don’t have to do all eight ways all the time. Even doing a few consistently will help create an experience your customers will be sure to notice and love.
How to get started with advocating
Ready to become your customers’ best advocate? Here are four steps to get you started:
- Decide which customers you’ll advocate. Start with your top customers and/or those you engage with on a regular basis. Make it a manageable number so you can consistently advocate them on social media.
- Follow them on social. Advocating on social starts with following your customers on LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networks you’re active on. Make sure to connect with and follow your customer contacts too.
- Set up social media alerts. Set up Google or other alerts for your customers and customer contacts. This will notify you when something good (or bad) is happening that you may want to engage with on social media.
- Let them know you’re doing it. Sure, customers may notice your social activity, but why not give them a heads-up to make sure? Just include your customer or contact’s social handle when sharing on their behalf.
Don’t be surprised when your customers start returning the favor by sending more business your way and advocating your company on social media.
Now it’s your turn.
How are you advocating customers on social media? Is social helping you improve the overall customer experience of your customers? Feel free to add your comments below so we can share them.
(Editor’s note: This article was first published on InsideCXM)