A touchpoint, in its most basic of definitions, is a point of contact between your business and your customers, clients, or audience. There is an opportunity with every touchpoint to either strengthen your brand relationship with your customer or weaken it. It all boils down to how you approach it.
The cumulative effect of your various touchpoints will determine how your customers perceive their experiences with your brand, for better or worse. It’s important that you strive to make every touchpoint between your brand and your customers a positive and quality interaction, one that leaves them feeling good about doing business with you.
This is also one of the reasons why we can’t stress enough that even though a social media channel can be great for brand building, it is not, we repeat, not a sales channel! It’s merely a touchpoint on the way to a sale, and if you abuse it, not only can you lose the sale, you could damage your brand.
Other Types of Touchpoints
Social media is also not your only touchpoint. Remember that your customers will interact with you in many different ways, through many different mediums. Each of those interactions is a touchpoint, an opportunity for you to build a positive brand bond. For a touchpoint to be effective, you have to have at least three to foster a strong connection.
Those three points of contact can include social media as a way to interact with your brand and build a positive image, but other touchpoints might be things like your website, your product packaging, any media coverage you receive, as well as marketing efforts like direct mail, other methods of advertising, and more.
Remember, every time your customer interacts with your brand in some way, it’s considered a touchpoint. If you realize that social media isn’t there to be a sale channel but a way to connect and build relationships, you’ll fare much better in your social marketing efforts.
You should also keep in mind that different social media channels will produce different results. You have to consider how each of them is used (successfully) and build your social marketing strategy around best practices for each individual platform.
The goal of using touchpoints is to take your customers on a journey with your brand. When that journey is done right, it will naturally lead to sales. Even better, you will create loyal brand ambassadors that continue to spread your brand message far and wide, resulting in more sales.
Engage and Inspire, Don’t Sell
The biggest brands out there are using social media not just to provide customer service, not as a sales channel, but as a medium to engage with their audience, interact with them, motivate them, and inspire them. Some of them don’t even make a single sales pitch (think of Nike), yet their positive brand awareness is through the roof. As a result, their sales are too.
It’s getting harder than ever for brands to cut through all the noise with social media and content marketing, but that doesn’t make it impossible. You just have to remember that social media is first and foremost about building relationships and engaging with real people, who have real lives and real problems.
Use social media as a touchpoint on the journey to serving those people and solving their biggest problems and you will yield much better results than blatant self-promotion. Social media is a conversation, not a sales pitch.