Successful organizations find ways to turn interaction into revenue. One of the best ways to do this is leveraging social media groups.
I’ve learned this firsthand while working with clients who want deeper customer insight–with a limited or non-existent budget. Collaborating with customers via social media groups can lead to several benefits including an increase in your marketing ROI. Keep reading to find out more.
5 Reasons To Increase ROI By Using Social Media Groups
1. Lower Marketing Costs with High ROI
Naturally, as you engage with customers in social media groups, you’ll gain valuable insight into their behavior and what motivates them. You can eliminate the need for third-party analytics and focus groups that will decrease your ROI.
Ask your social media group members to provide responses that will help you serve them both on and off-line. Doing this is more beneficial as third-party analytics will potentially provide information on a small subset of your actual customer base.
Engaging with your social media group members directly will provide more value as the insights acquired come directly from your customers.
A great case study is the LEGO Ambassador program.
LEGO Ambassadors can collaborate on new designs, share ideas and keep up with the latest LEGO information via LEGO’s exclusive member platform, LEGO Ambassadors Network.
Since the inception of this internalized marketing platform in 2004, LEGO had become the most valuable toy company in the world, valued at more than $14.6 billion dollars in 2004.
2. Better Products That Customers Want to Buy
Social media groups are a great resource to tap if you’re looking to develop additional products or services your customers want to buy. This helps in the following ways:
- It allows you to understand your customers’ challenges and update, reposition, reconstruct, or re-engineer your product or service based on the type of engagements transpiring in the groups.
- It invites your customers in the product/service development process which positions them as stakeholders in the success or failure of the offering.
A great example is American Express Open Forum.
American Express does a great job of establishing its brand as a resource for small businesses. It attracts millions of small business owners to its stories on OpenForum.com.
The content on Open Forum is written by paid and volunteer contributors who have a deep experience in their respective fields, so the content is authoritative, trustworthy, & meaningful.
With all of these influential contributors, American Express benefits from organic sharing, increased exposure, and engagement with potential customers seeking business advice.
3. Lowered Customer Service Costs
As Steven van Belleghem, professor at Vlerick Business School and author of ‘The Conversation Company’, notes:
The customer-helps-customer philosophy (crowd service) enables companies to be more efficient and improve their service without losing sight of the human aspect. 55% of consumers like the idea of other consumers helping them and 58% are prepared to help others. The customer is ready for crowd service.
Maintaining a customer service team is expensive. So, by establishing a social media group, you can dramatically cut costs by providing more relevant support and assistance.
Organizations That Integrate Communities Into Customer Support Can Realize Cost Reductions of Up to 50 Percent.
When your group is established, customers can help each other with their questions and help potential customers solve problems. This alleviates pressure on your organization to provide all the answers and reduces the overhead costs for hiring customer care staff.
4. More Customers Who Understand Your Brand
Let’s face it, the more your customers understand your brand, the easier it is to communicate with them. Social media groups are a great platform for your customers to interact and engage with your product or services. Engagement between you and your customers in these groups will not only build brand loyalty, but will decrease the number of product returns and complaints.
A perfect case study is T-Mobile’s Support community.
Users connect with each other on topics about products, plans, coverage, and community involvement.
5. Better Loyal Customer Relationships
Customer loyalty increases as the barriers of communications decrease. These barriers can be a marketing budget, a media outlet, or internal resources.
Establishing a social media group can provide direct access to these customers and give you a clear line of communication.
Want to take it to the next level?
Take a page from Bud Light’s playbook. They created a social community…offline.
They completely obliterated any communication barriers by bringing over 1,300 fans to a remote destination for the ultimate brand loyalty execution. This was a multi-million dollar endeavor but is nothing compared to the lifetime value of each attendee.
Kudos Bud Light!
Building a customer community via social media groups can lower customer services costs and provide better marketing insights and foster better relationships with customers.
Even if you’re a “solopreneur”, small business, or major corporation, there are minimal resources needed to establish a customer community on social media. Although the cost is nominal, the return is great.
Your newly established social media group can bring in more leads per dollar and has longer lasting results than any other type of marketing campaign.
Take advantage of the opportunity to break down the barriers between your customers and your organization, and turn your fans into evangelists. Start a social media group today.