Whether your business is a multinational corporation or a small non-profit organization, engaging with your customers and audience is crucial to your success. In the 21st century, online engagement is key. Most of us are good at this in our personal lives, but many companies struggle to connect digitally. Here are some tips to help you make that happen.

Put the Right People in Charge

Just like every other position in your company, you must have the right person running, monitoring, and responding to your social media followers. The ideal candidate is great at time management, understands the nuances of what needs to be tailored to different platforms, and can stay positive when responding to negative feedback or comments.

Add Personal Touches and Voice to Customer Support

Likewise, the customer service user experience is critical to keeping customers loyal. Your online engagement with them should always seem like it’s coming from a real person, not an automated response robot. Make sure requests for information or service concerns include a personal greeting and are written conversationally.

Create E-Welcome Packages

In addition, when you are contacted by a new customer or follower, you can create goodwill by sending them an e-welcome package with links to some of your more popular content or features and invite to sign up for your newsletter or closed group, or discount code or coupon.

Build a Community

A great and sometimes overlooked feature of online engagement is its inherent ability to be a force for community building. You can do this in a big-picture sense by hosting group chats or asking followers and customers to sign up for online video workshops, or you can simply post a poll or question, moderate it, and ask questions to keep the conversation going between people.

Reach Out to Power Users

Most brands have “power users” who are your biggest fans and advocates. Tap into them to give you focus-group style feedback and ask them to be brand ambassadors. If you’re able to give them discounts or gift cards, reward them!

Measure Success with KPIs

Finally, determine how you will measure the success of your online engagement by establishing key performance indicators (or KPIs) internally. This may be an increased number of followers or subscribers, “likes” or “shares” of content, or an uptick in sales that can be tracked and attributed to digital sources.

Your online presence may be your biggest marketing tool and opportunity. Use it carefully and effectively, and you will build a very loyal customer base!