Even before a global pandemic limited customers’ options for interacting with brands in person, people were already increasingly engaging with businesses online. Whether it was to share content that they saw a brand post on social media, message a business with questions about a product or view a live demo of a product, consumers were building relationships with brands without setting foot inside a store.
Now as some parts of the world slowly start to re-open and lift restrictions, research indicates that these engagement patterns will continue. According to a Facebook-commissioned survey conducted across the globe by Ipsos, 56% of people surveyed said that social media has allowed them to interact more and deepen their relationship with brands1.
For Rafael Savino and Valentina Bagala, owners of Ascendance Studio, a nationally acclaimed dance studio in Doral, Florida, Facebook and Instagram were platforms for continuing to offer services and communicating important updates about their business as local social distancing requirements fluctuated. They say that these tools were especially important for engaging directly with younger generations of dancers, and that simply showing the ways that their studio was ensuring safety through posts and videos led to a rise in their class enrollment.
“Now more than ever, people are online,” says Rafael. “If they’re there, your business should be there too.”
Wondering where to start engaging with your audience on Facebook and Instagram? Below are ways to get started today with building deeper and more meaningful relationships with your customers in the digital realm:
Translate typically in-person activities into engaging online experiences. Even before the pandemic, Rafael and Valentina were live streaming dance recitals online for out-of-town relatives of young performers through Facebook Live and Instagram Live. During the pandemic, these platforms helped provide new sources of revenue for Ascendance when in-person shows and classes were no longer feasible. Consider how you can expand your offerings and your audience reach through these platforms. You can also consider using “Paid Online Events” to create your event, charge people to attend, promote and host, all in one place.
Capture entertaining content to engage your audience. Using only your mobile phone, you can easily create and share images and short video clips showing a typical day in your shop, showcasing your latest products and services, sharing a special discount and more. Stories and Reels on Instagram are a great way to bring your brand story to life using creative tools. For example, Ascendance uses Stories to provide updates on schedules, safety updates and other news. They have found that this format is particularly effective for the teenage members of their customer base.
Communicate directly with customers through messaging. Using Messenger and WhatsApp, you can easily communicate with your customers when they need to hear from you. After signing up for a class at Ascendance, students and their parents receive reminder texts the day before to ensure that they remember logistical details. “I know if I send a text message, they’re going to see it,” says Rafael. “I can be on the go and be ready to go for my customers.”
Manage your business across Facebook apps with Business Suite. Facebook Business Suite helps businesses save time and stay up to date on all their marketing activities on Facebook apps. They can post to Facebook and Instagram at the same time and manage and receive messages, notifications and alerts, all in one place. They can also easily see what’s working and what content and formats customers engage with most.
To learn more about creating more meaningful relationships with your customers online, visit Facebook Blueprint.