With so many people utilizing online platforms to research and purchase goods and services, it’s more important than ever for businesses to find and implement interesting ways to connect with their customers online.

According to a Local Search Association survey, consumers turn to company websites (27%), search engines (24%) and ratings and review sites (9%) when they’re ready to make a purchase. All of these digital channels provide opportunities for engaging and interacting with customers.

So how can you determine which avenues and practices makes the most sense for your business? Here are a few unique ways that you can better connect with your online customers.

Get to Know Them

Although knowing basic information about your customers (name, location, age) is a good start, it can prove incredibly useful to go the extra mile by getting to know them on a more personal level. That way, you can learn what they like, dislike, what annoys them, their interests, shopping patterns, etc. and you can utilize that information to create more personalized marketing content.

To gain access to this information, you can send out surveys, ask questions on social media, and look for feedback on review sites and other forums. Analyze the data that you find and utilize it to better segment your audience and create more tailored marketing campaigns.

Provide Updates

If there’s something new going on within your business, your customers will likely want to know about it. Whether you’re introducing a new product, having a big sale or announcing a contest, keep your customers updated on what’s going on. There are so many ways you can do this including, email campaigns, newsletters and social media posts. By providing customers with relevant updates, you’ll be highlighting the value you can provide them with, as well as building a more personal connection.

Respond Quickly

This is one of the easiest ways to connect with your customers, yet it’s often overlooked. When a customer emails you, comments on a social post or leaves an online review (mostly negative, but some positive as well), you want to try and respond as quickly as possible. This will show your commitment to providing them with high-quality service and that you genuinely care about their experience and concerns. Try and limit response times to no more than 24 hours.

Don’t Just Talk About Your Business

Even though customers want to know what’s going on in your business, it’s not the only thing they want to hear about. If you’re only talking about your business within your social media posts, you’re doing a disservice to your customers. It’s important to mix it up and also posts about things that you believe your audience might find entertaining or interesting. Things like memes, gifs, videos and thought-provoking articles are great things to share with your followers.

If you’re unsure of what to post and when, try putting together a content calendar. That way, you can plan ahead for the content you’d like to post.

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