How To Build Customer Loyalty Through Generosity
You’ll often hear experts in the field of social media marketing say that “generosity is the currency of social media.” What they mean by that is in order to build strong, loyal relationships with your customers (which is why you’re using social media to begin with, right?) is to put others ahead of yourself. Your customers don’t owe you their attention. Unlike traditional marketing, with social media your customers have the choice to listen to you or not, and if they aren’t getting anything out of the deal then what is their incentive to listen? That’s why the traditional marketing strategy of shouting loudly with your hands over your ears is becoming less effective, and flat out does not work on social media platforms.
So what does it mean to be generous to your customers? Well, there are countless ways this can be done, but one of my favorite methods is partnering as a business with a local nonprofit. Now, this concept of affinity, or cause marketing has been around for a long time, but has found its perfect match in social media. The down economy & government cutbacks are putting many community charities in a desperate situation. What I love about social media for nonprofits is that it actually gives them a decent bargaining chip when courting businesses for donations & sponsorships.
Since most everyone loves to support their favorite cause, nonprofits tend to have a larger audience on social media sites than businesses. Mentions by nonprofits reach that larger audience and drives their loyal supporters towards your business. Giving to a cause that your community cares about and having the charity brag about you is how you show your company’s generosity, sincerity, and humbleness…3 qualities that help to build strong, loyal relationships with your customers. If your company is just getting started on social media, a mention from a nonprofit partner is a great way to organically grow your followers.
It’s not wrong to be strategic in deciding what nonprofit to buddy up with. Here are four things to keep in mind when exploring a partnership through social media with a charity:
-Do they have a large, well maintained presence on social media? If not, you might not reap the benefits you were hoping for.
-Does the charity directly support your local community? Think twice before partnering with large, national nonprofits (unless they have a local chapter & social media presence). The chances that they will mention you or that the money you donate will go directly back into your community are slim to none.
-Does your audience care deeply about the cause? Support a nonprofit that your audience is passionate about and has a connection with. For example, one of my clients is a local eyeglass store. They support a charity that works to help local residents with severe vision problems gain their independence. Their customers can absolutely get behind a cause like that since they themselves struggle with less debilitating vision problems.
-Are YOU passionate about the cause? Above all, make sure that the charity you choose is one your comfortable supporting and that you and your staff are passionate about.
In the comment section I’d love to hear some stories about how your business is contributing to the community. Or, how your nonprofit is leveraging your social media presence to bring in more corporate sponsors. Tell me!
This post was originally featured on SocialBrand U. Visit them for more great insights into social media best practices.