In the business that I’m in, engaging your clients is a big deal. And it should be for your business also. The more engaged you are with your customers and clients, the more likely they are going to want to buy your product or use your service. The interesting thing about engagement is how much feedback do you really want to receive from your customers or clients? You have to be prepared to respond to the feedback, and make changes to your business or product if necessary. Which means, you need to be prepared for some negative feedback. That being said, hopefully your customers will also provide you with positive or constructive feedback. But that isn’t usually what happens.
Engagement is usually about a two way conversation between you and your customer. Feedback, in my opinion is one way. You have a product or service, and I comment on whether I like it or not. That doesn’t mean you will follow up with me, nor does it mean you will improve your product or service. Engagement, however, does. Engage your customers to find out what they are liking and what they aren’t. Don’t take the negative feedback personally. You want your customers to feel like they’re being listened to, and that you care about them. You should after all. They’re buying into you and your brand.
One thing to consider is how quickly you are responding to DM’s. This is kind of customer service 101, if you think about it. How often are any of us responding to our clients and customers? We are talking specifically about Instagram, so make sure that you are doing it in a timely manner. Maybe you need to set aside time each day to respond to DM’s. That seems reasonable. Maybe you need to set aside more time. Whatever works for you and your business. Don’t leave them too long. But also recognize that you don’t necessarily have to respond to everyone. I realize that’s not a great customer service tool, but some people are just trolls and you don’t need to be the one to feed them.
What other accounts are you associating with? Who are you following with? Who are you promoting? Depending on what your business is, this isn’t a bad thing. Going back to the bakery example I used in an earlier post. Perhaps you don’t want to associate with another bakery that specializes in gluten free baking. But a local restaurant that specializes in allergy cooking, might be a good ally for you. Or even other businesses within your local area. Who are these accounts and what does that say to your customers? Again, if your business has nothing to do with dogs, maybe don’t associate with a bunch of dog accounts. But going back to my earlier point about local businesses, this might be ok. Again, so long as it’s relevant to you and your business. Do you promote shopping local? If so, then local businesses are great accounts to associate with.
Lastly, you should leverage your followers to the best of your ability. What does that mean? Are there people who really love your products? Offer them some kind of discount. They will likely tell everyone what a great business you have and spread the word for you. Engagement can be tricky, but the key is listening. Be open to the responses you might get. Like I said, you might not like or even appreciate the feedback you receive, but it doesn’t hurt to hear what others are saying. Your business is not going to grow if you’re not willing to listen.