Social media’s immense impact on our world is undeniable. In just the past two years we’ve been moved by Twitter helping the people of Egypt ignite a revolution, and shocked, entertained and then saddened by the very public meltdown of Charlie Sheen via You- Tube videos and his winning tweets.
We live in a world where anyone can make second by- second updates to inform everyone in their life what they’re thinking at any given moment. The power of this unique voice can be harnessed in a variety of ways. And for businesses, it’s almost naïve not to recognize the immediate impact social media can have on brands, products and sales.
For savvy marketers, social media is the perfect vehicle to increase sales, brand awareness and engagement, but the social waters must be navigated carefully to be effective.
Social is not about you; make it about your customer.
In order to get your fans to really like your page feeds, you must engage them in the right way, and they become your marketers for you. Make it easy! Not only is everyone connected now, and it’s easy to see what people are saying about a particular brand, but also user-generated content and interaction with a brand only takes one click.
Golden rules of Social media
Be genuine and authentic.
Spend a lot of time understanding your target audience and the emotional triggers that lead them to make purchase decisions and things they enjoy doing, their passion points, their leisure activities. If you can get to what makes them tick as individuals, you have captured the first element of social media — it’s not really about you, it’s about them.
Do your research and know your customer
Look at trends, see what customers are saying and then bring it back to the brand.
If your customers are passionate about something, for example, football, create content that meets their needs. If your customers are really into music, even if your company has nothing to do with music, create social content that is music related because your consumer base enjoys it. Tie your brand to that and you will reap the viral sharing and the association with something that is a passion point for your consumers.
Find your customers and engage them where they are.
Your social efforts don’t necessarily have to be on one of the actual social network sites. Go to where your customers are. If you are already driving a tonne of traffic through your existing website, engage them there. Engage them in social ways on your own website that will then give you more visibility in the other social channels where your customers are interacting.
Don’t just sell sell sell….its so not social
Make sure you are publishing offers and products to your news feed regularly, but make sure you blend it with content that’s also educational and entertaining. If you just try to sell through your news feed you will lose your customers and your fans. So what marketers need to realize is that while you need to have a big number of fans, but you also need to be posting content that is relevant to your audience.
Consumers shy away from commercialism so don’t give them an excuse to “unlike you”
Clearly when in the midst of digesting enjoyable content from their friends and family, a blatant marketing push stands out like a sore thumb to most consumers. Every once in a while you find this magical moment where something within a brand is actually really appealing to a consumer as well from a content standpoint, and that’s the optimal fit. But there are a lot of brands that have pretty mundane products, so sometimes it is important that you find a different path to igniting the social atmosphere that doesn’t requiring you forcing your product down on them.
Consumers don’t like repetition
What also doesn’t work is saying the same thing over and over again. Social networks are about having conversations. If you can’t stand your friends repeating themselves, why would you think they can stand your brand ambassador saying the same thing over and over again, or even worse, posting the same advert over and over again.
Consumers expect you to keep up with them
There is so much that is happening on social media networks today. When your customers are on their phones, laptops and computers, they want entertainment and conversation. They don’t want to be bored. So your content is important. You need to learn how to speak their language and to get in on their game and what makes them smile and share.
To engage or not to engage
- Does your brand want to engage customers on a more meaningful two-way level?
- Does your company have a social media communication strategy?
- Do you have the resources to support an on-going communication path to consumers from a customer service standpoint?
- Do you have the support of all internal stakeholders to make your social media communication work?
- Do you have staff or brand ambassadors who are willing and able to engage your customers?
- Do you have the creativity to deliver innovative, educational and entertaining content?
- Are you willing to pay the price for engaging your customers and the on-line world?