Every marketer understands that social media can be a source of significant traffic to your website that converts. However, acquiring and maintaining a social following is not always easy. The following are tips that can help you retain the followers that you acquire on social networking sites.

Get to Know Your Customers as Individuals
No customer wants to simply be an email address you send newsletters to or a number you send out marketing messages to. Instead, customers want a noteworthy relationship where you do everything in your power to supply the best product and services to him and he in turn becomes a loyal and reliable consumer of what you are selling.

For such a relationship to exist, you must take time to know your customers and the unique needs they have, and then find a way to meet those needs. When a customer sees you go out of your way to understand what they need and do something about it, they are inclined to become loyal to your brand.

Make Your Brand Content Easily Shareable
The easier you can make you content shareable, the more likely will those people who interact with it share it with their peers. Therefore, you should do your best to avail sharing buttons to everyone who visits your website. Given the increasing number of people who browse the internet via their mobile devices, you must make it easy to share your content on mobile.

Include social plugins that encourage your website visitors to share what they are reading on social media. This will not only get you website visitors, it will also improve your brand awareness and increase the chances of retaining visitors to your social media channels.

Continuously Engage With Your Audience
Failing to continuously engage your social media audience might result in your customers muting updates from your business or worse still, blocking or unfollowing your brand altogether. They will then connect with your competitor if they believe they won’t ignore them. The sad reality at the present is only 11% of people who contact brands get a response. That means that if you can do your best to engage your audience, chances are that they will have all the motivation they need to stay loyal to your brand.

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Make sure Your Business Is Easy to Find on Social Media
Far too often, brands limit their social networking activities to one or two social networks. This makes it hard for potential customers who use the other social media sites to find and interact with them. Other businesses have very inactive social profiles that potential customers can clearly see are hardly maintained with fresh content, thus look neglected and out of use. This can lead to those customers following fake profiles of your brand that can damage your brand’s reputation. To solve this problem, create social profiles in all social networking sites that your customers frequent and regularly publish new posts.

Serve Your Customers Where They Spend Their Time
Instead of limiting your customer service efforts to your website, emails and call centres, use social media. If your customers are on Instagram use Social Growr to find and follow them, and then device ways of engaging with them. Today, social networking sites have developed solutions that can help businesses optimize their customer support services through the social sites.

For example, Twitter now avails to customer service teams the ability to send automated welcome messages via its Direct Messaging system. Facebook has integrated unified messaging to company pages through which customers get direct access to a company’s support team. Streamlining your brand’s ability to engage with these customers in these platforms will help you retain them as loyal customers well into the future.

Help Your Customers Spread the Word for You
At any one time, people who have used your products or services will be talking about their experience on social media. You can benefit from this information by actualizing social listening. Search for any mentions of your brand on social networks and use the positive stories your customers share on social media as testimonials on your website. Testimonials are an emotional trigger few other brand stories can match and a powerful social proof of your products’ unique proposition. They are often one of the main drivers in marketing campaigns that go viral.

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Use Visual Content For More Engagement
Instead of publishing text-based posts on social media, use image, vines, GIFs and video-based posts. Visual content has always performed better than text-only social media posts. On Facebook, image-based posts perform 39% better than text posts while on Google+, videos attract 28% more engagement. On LinkedIn, YouTube video posts get 75% more shares while on Twitter, a tweet accompanied by a vine, a video or an image can get as much as 200% more engagement.