Social media isn’t you talking at people —it’s a form of two-way communication. Use your platform to talk to (not at) your audience. You can do this by responding to comments, liking/commenting on photos, sharing relevant articles, answering questions, and sparking new conversations.

This shows your audience you’re engaged with their interest in your brand, whether it’s responding to urgent customer service questions or just showing appreciation for positive shout-outs. Audiences on social generally expect a fast response time on social, so make sure your team is set up for success. This is easier to manage using social media tools like Sprout that alert you when you receive tagged comments.

On social, consumers can compare brands’ support practices in just a few minutes and taking too long to respond has consequences. Our recent data reveals that when this happens, 36% of consumers will share that negative experience with friends and family. A comparable 31% won’t complete their purchase, while 30% will buy from a competitor instead.

Relationship building is more than just about selling. It’s about actively engaging in social listening, and demonstrating values your customers appreciate while providing excellent customer service.

Create surveys and polls

Surveys and polls are a great way to both engage and activate your audience and a good trick to learn more about them. What do they like? What were their reactions to your latest campaign? What are their opinions on certain topics? If you want to know what your followers are thinking, just ask them!