November often seems to kick off a full season of giving thanks, with the digital world buzzing with ways to show customer appreciation.
As a United States Navy veteran (Hospital Corpsman), I’m grateful for the thanks and specials businesses offer me on November 11 (Veteran’s Day) and I enjoy sharing to my fellow veterans too. This year in addition to messages of appreciation, I shared links to the specials being offered by others so they were easier to find (click to see it at full size). Sharing additional value like this—or tips, ideas or how-to’s—is also fun and a positive way to show appreciation.
Soon afterwards, we roll into Thanksgiving and Small Business Saturday—two occasions that have us giving thanks for so much, to so many (especially this year). Then the Christmas holiday season comes in fast, with holiday gifting and its opportunities to show customer appreciation.
It’s easy to share thank you messages on your platforms (Canva allows you to create them quickly and easily, with dozens of beautiful selections that are easy to tailor to your brand). And while sending out a heartfelt message at this time of year is certainly a good idea, I also encourage my clients to look a little deeper and ask questions that will help them create a bigger impact throughout the whole year, not just this season.
The good thing is, social media is just that—social!—enabling great opportunities to connect, thank and celebrate customers both as a group and individually. Here are a few ideas to get your gears turning:
How can you show customer appreciation using your social platform connections?
Make one-on-one connections—many of the highest impact connections between a company and a follower are created when the company takes the time to show individuals that they’re being seen and heard.
Certainly you could choose a simple “like,” but for real power, create a unique message that’s in the style of your brand, like this one from juicehaus in Fuquay-Varina NC. (I often like to add a specific .gif to my posts because that fits my brand’s style.)
If you’ve got a highly personal small business brand, replying with a quick personal video message may make an even bigger impact (there’s no need to do this every time, but now and then it’ll be memorable). Each of these creates a more personal touch, and sends a clear message of extra care about your customer.
Feature customers in your feed—at any time of year, your interactions with customers present terrific opportunities to say thank you AND, depending on your market, help you create stronger connections with them. With their permission you could congratulate them on a purchase or a visit; take a photo of them with you or at your business.
If yours is a business-to-business setting, sharing news about their business or highlighting something they’re promoting is a wonderful way to be supportive. You could select and highlight customers and/or audience members as a surprise now and then, or make a routine day for client celebration. Social media platforms give you a way to do this publicly, which creates a win-win for both of you.
Incorporate a few customer appreciation days into your social media calendar—April 18 is the official date set by the retail industry, but there’s no reason to limit yourself to that one day. Choosing a unique day when customers get a delightful surprise from you and you alone makes you stand out!
Highlighting fun holidays with clever, funny, heartfelt, inspiring or helpful content is another great way to show customer appreciation without having to offer a single discount.
You might also want to invite users to share their own content, tagging your company/brand/group or hashtag you’re focusing on and selecting some to share to your page (with their permission).
Fuel your Fans—And finally, one of my top recommendations, especially for clients that do a lot of lead generation specials or deals, is to check in regularly on what you’re giving to existing customers. We’ve all seen the phone and internet company ads that give amazing deals to new customers—knowing that a portion of their audience will “deal hop” from year to year—while those who stay loyal have to pay more and more. That’s not a recipe for customer appreciation! Surprise them with existing-customer-only perks.
How else might you show gratitude to your customers? If you’d like help coming up with a strategy for how to show customer appreciation on your social media platform, schedule a one-hour coaching session today!