In a world where face-to-face consumer interactions are declining, it is more important than ever to get to know your customers virtually. Taking the time to learn about your customers through social media analytics, customer profiles and surveys will improve your business marketing efforts and strengthen customer retention – enabling you to better meet the needs of your customers.
To celebrate Get to Know Your Customer Day, we asked UGA SBDC business consultants Nadia Osman, Jennifer Lee and Drew Tonsmeire to share their tips.
Social Media Analytics
If you want to effectively engage your customers with social media, it is important to understand who they are and what kind of content captures their attention. Platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok reach varying demographics. Successful businesses will adapt their marketing strategies to each platform, diversifying them to fit the medium and target audience. Most platforms will provide you with analytical data about your followers and their engagement rates. Utilize this data to better understand what works and doesn’t work for your customers.
“Taking the time to identify your target market sets the stage for all marketing efforts and helps ensure that the strategies focus on reaching those individuals where they already are, whether that is online or in-person. If a company is using a business account, each social media platform has an area dedicated to showcasing the demographics of the audience they are reaching. There are also other third-party platforms that can create more in-depth reports and regularly email them to account administrators.“—Nadia Osman, Business Consultant, UGA SBDC in Savannah
Customer profiles can help you assess what forms of marketing work for your customers, how likely they are to return to your business, and what it is about your business that attracted them in the first place. A customer profile should include purchasing habits, how the client heard about your business, their demographic information, occupation, age, and likes and dislikes. Much of this information will come from customer interactions, but you can also use social media analytics to build a robust profile. By constructing the complete picture of who your customers are, you can better judge how your services can benefit them and promote customer retention.
“One of the biggest keys to understanding marketing effectiveness is proper target definition. Spending time understanding exactly who your customers are and what they value (demographics AND psychographics) will help you determine the best places to reach them. Utilize research, information you have collected, or even anecdotal data to build a profile of your target customer that you can refine as your business grows and evolves.”—Jennifer Lee, Business Consultant, UGA SBDC in Brunswick
It is important to receive direct feedback from your customers to better understand how your products or services are being received. One way to do this is paying attention to customer reviews and responding in a personal way to all reviews – good and bad.
Additionally, customer surveys are an excellent way to receive in-depth feedback about your business’ strengths and weaknesses. Surveys are a creative method for driving sales, as you can incentivize customer participation with an offer or discount. By opening the door for customer feedback, you are creating a dialogue between you and your customers.
“It a good thing for business owners to have an opportunity to hear from customers. From focus groups to customer surveys, these feedback tools can provide insights into customer motivations, experience with your brand, or product and service innovations to bring to the marketplace. Many email platforms provide survey tools to make it easy for you and your customers to engage in survey dialogues.”—Drew Tonsmeire, Area Director, UGA SBDC at Kennesaw State University
Through social media analytics, customer profiles and customer surveys, you can create a more personal relationship with your customers and achieve greater customer retention for your business.
Need assistance with the tips listed in this article? Reach out to your local UGA SBDC office for more information. With 18 locations across Georgia, there is a UGA SBDC serving every community.
Reach out to your customers today and celebrate #gettoknowyourcustomerday!
By Irene Wright