A brand’s primary purpose is to produce products and services that enrich the lives of their customers. If they don’t fulfill this purpose, then their target customers will look elsewhere to buy goods. Brands need to focus a lot of their time on interacting with customers to build strong relationships. If a brand fails to prioritize the relationships with their customers, they can go out of business. An example of a brand that lost major profit from being disconnected from their customers is JCPenney. They stopped focusing on their middle class demographic that prioritized their stores and started targeting the upper class. They got rid of their lucrative JCP private label brands, and replaced them with designer inspired ones priced too high for most customers. This created a dent in their customer loyalty forcing them to shop elsewhere. Their CEO, Ron Johnson, talked about the rebranding strategy with Businessweek, “I thought people were just tired of coupons and all this stuff. The reality is all of the couponing we did, there were a certain part of the customers that loved that. They gravitated to stores that competed that way. So our core customer, I think, was much more dependent and enjoyed coupons more than I understood.” Now in 2015, JCPenney is expected to close many of their underperforming stores. So what can businesses who want to build relationships with their potential customers do so they won’t meet a similar fate? Take advantage of social media as much as possible! Social media has allowed brands to engage with customers directly and timely. For example: If I have a problem with my phone, I can go on twitter and tweet the phone brand about it. A representative will tweet me back and help me out. These types of experiences helps me to cherish my phone’s brand more and shows me that as a customer I’m their top priority. Using twitter as a virtual customer service center is one of many ways that businesses can promote brand loyalty through social media. Here are more ways:

Spotlight Deals and Coupons

If you want to convert your social media followers into customers, post the latest deals and coupons of your products. Use channels like Instagram and Facebook to post images showcasing the latest savings with promo codes that your business is offering. This creates an incentive for your followers to check your business out and if they like it, they can purchase from it.

Become an Industry Authority

Post the hottest news and trends in your industry on social media. You want to be their new source of the latest information. Provide free and useful knowledge to your audience so they can share them. Once you prove that your brand is a reliable resource, you will be seen as an influencer with constant shares and traffic.

Show Customer Appreciation

Be your customer’s advocate on social media. Interact with them and share their content. Mention them on your platforms and ask them to share their experiences with your brand to their friends and followers.

Post Customer Inspired Content

Post videos, photos, and articles of new features of your products and services that was inspired by your customer’s ideas, feedback, or research. Post any questions that they ask about your business with your answers on various platforms to show that they are your top priority.