Many companies have created online dialogues with customers and begun creating their own communities. But nothing cements the relationship like in-person interactions. Consider taking your social media community offline from time to time with one or a series of special events.
As I head off this week to host an event for one of my clients and 425 of their most avid customers, I am reminded how in-person events create a special bond that can’t be replicated online. When customers interact with the company, it makes them feel special (especially if you give them VIP status or swag!). Additionally, if your customers create relationships with each other, then the feel like they belong to a special group. This is the difference between having just a customer and a raving fan.
During the event, create an experience: let the customers have interaction with the CEO, creative team, high-profile executives or other appropriate “experts” related to your field- for example, if you have a boutique, you could do a meet-and-greet with the designers. To make this strategy generate revenue for you, think about creating limited edition products or offers only available at the events.
At my client’s event, we have a special series of products only available at that event. The event also provides the customers a chance to interact with all of the company’s management. Most importantly, the customers bond with each other and their shared passion for the product. It’s one thing to be online friends, but sharing experiences online truly engenders long-lasting loyalty.
How can you reverse engineer your social media with some face-to-face interaction?