Having a huge number of Facebook Likes and an equally burgeoning email subscriber base doesn’t always translate to brand success in the long term. Imagine that your online business seems to be going well until you notice #yourcompanysucks trending on Twitter. This hashtag starts a chain reaction of negative reviews and general catcalling and you’re suddenly wondering where your entire campaign went wrong. The identity you’ve been trying to valiantly to portray to your audience isn’t always the one that they actually perceive. Brands seeking to establish a long-term relationship with their social media and email customers should focus on user experience, ensuring that the entire experience is as easy, smooth and most importantly as social as possible. Passwords frustrate users Anyone who spends any amount of time online has been witnesses to various security breaches, hacks and account theft... and mostly they are as a result of having an insecure password that is either common or easy to guess. This is the primary reason most of the major brand websites have attempting to encourage their customers into concocting a strong password that is considerably tougher to guess. Restrictions like “a minimum of x numbers, special characters or upper and lower case letters” are now common and the minimum password length gets greater as time goes by. This policy only forces users to come up with passwords that are too long or convoluted and studies show that up to seven out of every ten consumers have admitted that they have forgotten a password because of their complexity. Additionally, security questions, activation by phone and other similar security methods only increase the login/registration frustration and can sometimes even make the user change their mind about registering at all. Make it easy on the customer You should only require the information that is completely necessary to create an account and nothing more. If there aren’t any personally sensitive aspects such as credit card information stored on the account, then don’t bother adding extra levels of security and let your customers pick a password they are comfortable with. Allow users to log in through other accounts like Facebook and Twitter with a single button and if you own multiple websites, as making one account and session work for all of them can save them considerable time and frustration. Encourage user engagement & interaction Netizens are nearly twice as likely to buy something if they have seen a friend recommend it on a prominent social network. A user without a proper way to provide feedback or to share their thoughts about your brand will feel less attracted to it, resulting in less user engagement and proportionately fewer conversions. Every product or page or element that you think someone might even remotely be interested in sharing should have a prominent share button. A comment section or perhaps even a forum can be a launching point to directly interact with your consumers as well as giving them a way to share their experiences with your brand. It’s all about your customers By focusing on the relationship with each customer separately you will ensure that any two given users will not obtain the same experience on your social media or email presence, as they are perceiving that they are having it tailored to their needs, preferences and usage history. Failing to remember their payment information or giving them a generic list of products that they might or might not be interested into will only reduce the loyalty of your customers. If your customer base accepts it, record data of their activities on your online presences that will be used to improve their experience. Where legal, aspects such as product filters and payment information should be remembered through cookies so that your users will immediately feel comfortable on your sites even if they don’t log in first. In any relationship you must ensure that the other party is having a good time, otherwise trouble is brewing. When it comes to relating to your social media and email marketing customer, that’s the only way to make sure that the relationship with your consumer is a long and fruitful one!