If your business is implementing digital marketing strategies, chances are, you’ve already tapped into the power of social media to create connections with your customers.
Some companies are naturals when it comes to online engagement, but as an American living in Sweden, one thing I have noticed is that very few Nordic businesses understand customer reciprocity let alone engage easily with their customers online.
Case in point? Me.
HOW IT STARTED
I was scrolling through Instagram one day and found myself staring at this:
NOTE: Because I advocate businesses leaving authentic comments on their social media platforms when interacting with their customers, I decided to go with my first response to this image, too.
My Response: “Whoa!”
Now, I realize that not every business would know exactly how to respond to a comment like this, and truthfully, if I were to audit your Instagram stream to see where you could increase user engagement, I would actually recommend just letting this comment rest along with other user comments expressing similar sentiments.
However, I was so affected by the image, that I found myself morphing into my 13-year-old self (the one who used to kiss her Nick Lowe poster every night before bed, during my Duran Duran phase — #DontAsk), and following up with this comment.
My Follow Up Comment: “Any chance you’d sell one of these posters?” 😉 #VikingLove
THE MAGIC BEGINS
While wondering where I’d put a poster if they even had one, I saw this response from SysterP come in.
Syster P’s Response: “Send us your address firstname.lastname@example.org and we will at least send you the post card.” 😉
HOW I FELT
Pure, toe-curling, smile-producing get up and do the happy dance, delight coursed through me.
WHY IT WORKED
“Despite all the banner ads, mobile-optimized emails and programmatic advertising, talking to customers over social media and via comments is one of the best tactics to get fans excited …” Clint Demeritt
In the case of my interaction with Syster P, “excited” was exactly how I was feeling. I quickly sent an email and then told myself it was time to get over my crush and get back to work.
A few days later, I found a notification from the post office that I had a package to pick up. As I walked the two blocks from the post office to my apartment, I wondered what could be inside.
Seeing the return address indicating it was from SysterP, I wondered why they had used a box to send a postcard as they had promised.
Opening it, I couldn’t believe what I saw.
Inside the box was a framed picture of the Viking who had been the cause of my post-adolescent crush as well as a catalog and a hand-written note!
I absolutely could not wrap my brain around what I was seeing nor could I equate it with any Swedish customer experience I had ever had.
What SysterP had done was to tap into what is known as “reciprocity”.
Kissmetrics describes in detail about reciprocity and other aspects of customer delight here …
but the bottom line when it comes to utilizing reciprocity is what Gregory Ciotti, mentions, “… small surprises that feel like they were ‘just for you’ can spawn some incredibly strong goodwill from the receiver.”
In the case of SysterP, the goodwill they triggered caused me to create a series of social media shares that created increased brand awareness and a lasting sense of brand loyalty that I don’t see leaving anytime soon.
In fact, when I’m in a store and I see a Syster P display, I take a moment to share this story with the person behind the counter.
People are amazed this was my experience with a Swedish business and they, too, start to realize there are new ways to create connections with customers that they can easily duplicate.
The Take Away
When customers leave comments on your social media platforms it’s a signal they’re open to hearing from you.
Think of it as opening up a two-way communication channel.
This is a prime opportunity to create connections that can have significant payoffs for your business.
By implementing social reciprocity strategies you can create relatively simple and cost-effective ways to increase customer loyalty and create customer relationships online.