I’m sure customer engagement is one of the topics all marketing teams discuss weekly. Whether they review the number of likes and comments on social media or interact in live chats and respond to contact requests, building customer engagement is one of the core tasks for marketers. Sales teams often rely on marketing to bring them engaged leads online and offline.
Concrete customer engagement examples include welcome emails, loyalty programs, social media campaigns, feedback forms, and much more. When a company masters it, customer engagement becomes part of every touchpoint with potential and current customers. In layman’s terms, it helps your company keep customers interested in your brand and encourages them to take action.
The action might be as tiny as the customer reading your email notification. Some customer engagement campaigns only concentrate on raising awareness and keeping your business top of mind. Eventually, most companies are looking to increase sales (or drive donations) and reaching that goal typically requires a series of interactions with customers.
The same applies to social media marketing and engagement.
Sometimes, your primary goal is to grow visibility for an individual post and drive users towards an educational page.
One step more advanced is to organise a user-generated content campaign and engage your audience in creating content mentioning a branded hashtag. Typically, you increase brand awareness and gain new followers as a result.
The ultimate goal is to increase sales through social media, too. So, for example, you might gather mentions of a brand and branded hashtag and then embed shoppable Instagram galleries on your site to show social proof and drive conversions.
In this blog post, we’ll share four examples of how brands build customer engagement on social to achieve those goals.
Customer engagement examples from four brands
One of the key reasons why brands use social to build customer engagement is the ability to show social proof on social media channels and brands’ websites and digital services. Here are four businesses that are getting it just right.
The first step of building customer engagement on social media is creating engaging content and inviting customers to comment and share your posts. Engagement must be one of the key success criteria for your content team because, without likes and comments, social media algorithms make sure your content won’t travel far.
The competition is fierce, and you often need to be pretty innovative with your content plan to stand out from the crowd. Content creation is time-consuming, too.
So how do brands beat their competitors?
One of the most effective ways to grow engagement is to share customer and influencer-generated content on your Instagram account.
GoPro Awards is a fantastic example. Their website invites customers and influencers to submit photos and videos shot with GoPro gears.
Then, GoPro marketing team picks the best content and rewards customers with cash, discounts, and products. Finally, they post engaging images and videos on their branded account and embed Instagram feeds on the website.
Re-share user-generated content (with permission), and you’ll see a wave of engagement from your customers and their family and friends.
Hashtag contests are relatively simple to organise and a very cost-effective marketing tactic. You’ll need a branded and memorable hashtag, tools for gathering entries, and often a prize for the winner.
One of the key benefits of a hashtag campaign is increased brand awareness and reach. When your customers share entries on their social media feeds, their friends will likely engage with the content. As a result, your branded hashtag will get visibility far beyond your current customer base.
In addition, a hashtag contest can be an excellent opportunity for your brand to grow customer engagement in a channel where you haven’t got a strong presence. For example, your customers might be active on TikTok, but your brand hasn’t got started there yet – organising a hashtag campaign and engaging your customers to lead the way makes it more natural for your brand to jump in later.
That’s precisely what Feros Care decided to do with the 'Ask Gran not Google' campaign. They invited customers and influencers to use the campaign hashtag - the results are increased engagement and brand awareness and an authentic social media feed on the website with posts from TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and more.
Word of mouth has always been one of the most powerful marketing tactics for any business. Asking happy customers to recommend your products and services decreases your overall marketing costs and keeps the revenue flow more predictable. Google or social media advertising costs might change suddenly, but positive online reviews and your brand reputation bring customers regardless of the external changes outside your control.
That’s why building customer engagement is so crucial for any business. The more positive interactions you build with your customers through their journey from getting to know you to first purchase and loyalty club membership, the more likely they will recommend your products and services to others.
Opus Art Supplies is one of the many businesses that use social media to build a community of loyal customers. On their website, they highlight artwork from their customers in Instagram galleries. These virtual art galleries show social proof, building engagement with the existing customer base and helping reach new audiences simultaneously.
Social commerce is the latest trend and growth driver for all the major social channels. Whether it means sponsoring an Instagram influencer or tagging products to your branded posts, social commerce will grow in importance in the years to come.
But not only inside Instagram and TikTok is social shopping on the roadmap for businesses. Many webshops have tagged branded content and hashtag feeds with products and then display the shoppable social feed on the homepage and product pages.
Sohome, a furniture and design shop, is one of them. The 'Shop the look' element and shoppable UGC gallery highlights hashtag entries from their customers.
Images and videos are tagged with their webshop products, creating a direct path from UGC to purchase.