It’s the digital age, so there’s no denying that much of our daily activity takes place on a handheld mobile device.
Ever since Google announced that they would increase search rankings for mobile-friendly websites, businesses have caught on to the importance of going mobile. However, within this world of smartphones, there comes an occasional disadvantage. While social media mobile apps hold great power in reaching customers, abrupt updates and changes within the app create a high risk of driving what were once loyal users away.
For example, Instagram recently shifted from a chronological timeline to an algorithm based on relevancy: Posts that users are more likely to engage with — based on their history of likes and comments — appear at the top. Unfortunately, this update received tons of backlash from the Instagram community; users (even celebrities) complained that their posts would be hidden, and that this took away from the authenticity of social media’s real-time dynamic.
These undesired mobile app updates and changes can pose a problem for many businesses. With the right knowledge and a stellar marketing strategy, however, you can succeed in retaining your customers.
5 Tips for Retaining Customers on Social Media Mobile Apps
Know why they’re leaving in the first place.
It’s important to recognize what exactly is driving your customers away. In the case of Instagram, the relevancy algorithm is the problem, and a game-changing marketing strategy is the solution. Knowing the specifics makes it easier to work around the issue at hand.
Make yourself convenient.
App users (and people in general) don’t always handle change well. In the midst of all the mobile changes, reassure your customers that you aren’t going anywhere. Try to keep the same username across all social media platforms. Develop a few hashtags to improve your “searchability,” and to fight against being hidden below a multitude of posts.
Make them want to see you on their feeds.
Three words: Content is king. Although businesses have the ability to buy ads that automatically bump them up to the top, a mobile app update, like Instagram’s, introduces a level-playing field, shining the spotlight on businesses that really hustle. Make your business the reason customers want to keep using a mobile app, even if they’re not so fond of the changes. To be engaging, your posts should:
- Evoke emotions: Studies have shown that content that harnesses emotions is much more likely to be engaged with than content that does not. Emotions (especially those like “surprise”) are a catalyst to likes, comments and shares.
- Integrate visuals: Choosing the right photo is also key in engagement. Visuals easily catch attention, and stick with people much more than words do.
- Use a call-to-action: If you have a desired outcome, the best way to get there is to ask for it. A call to action can be the most powerful message in your copy, as it can generate leads and boost brand awareness.
- Be spreadable: As mentioned, hashtags are a great way to grow your reach. However, what makes a piece of content spreadable often goes beyond the screen — engaging content should also make people want to show it to others in their own, real-life social circles. Spreadable content travels across real conversations and a multitude of platforms.
Know the importance of user-generated content.
You might be hidden from the social feeds of many, but by leveraging brand influencers, you can gain exposure and target more people. Additionally, sharing fan content on your main business account increases loyalty, and gives users a reason to stay. Customers notice that you’ve shared their platform-specific content and feel as if they’re a part of the experience, as we’ve seen with Taco Bell’s social media strategy.
Let’s face it: Everybody loves a little token of appreciation. Consider offering a small gift, tangible or not, to customers for their dedication to your brand. Whether it is a coupon code or a simple followback, acknowledging your customers can encourage them to stay around.
SOCi rocks at creating engaging content. Want us to help you retain your customers? Contact us today and we’ll get you started.