How many times have you heard or read “My social accounts don’t seem to do much unless I have ridiculous offers.” Or how about “I have been on social media for years and it isn’t working.”
The idea of social media seems easy enough. Create an account and connect with customers and potential customers. Try to get as many likes as you possibly can and hopefully those loyal customers you have will share your page and offers with their friends and family, right? Wrong!
There is an art to social media marketing which very few, if any, brands have truly mastered. Each social media platform offers different audiences and should be used for different content that specifically caters to the audiences on that platform. Some platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ can be used to integrate across all of the platforms.
One of the key things to keep in mind is that your followers and fans do not follow you for your ridiculous offers…they follow you because they like your brand, products and services. To ensure another brand does not sweep them off of their feet, your company must engage with customers on a new level…a more social level.
Treat your brands page as you would treat your own page. You do not talk about yourself and how great you are on your own page. You do not offer your services out for a discounted rate. You post information that you believe your friends and followers are interested in. You may even ask for opinions or ask questions to get your friends, family and co-workers involved. Posting pictures on a personal page can gain hundreds of likes in hours. Is your content on your social media page gaining this many?
So what are some things to keep in mind when thinking about your next social media campaign.
- Never talk at your customers via social media: Talk to them. Ask them questions about how they use your product, like your product or if they have ideas to improve your products.
- Let the customer be the marketer: Word of mouth means more than most of the advertising dollars you spent last quarter. Let the customer speak for you and share your content. Encourage your customers to share their thoughts and experiences with Contests, Challenges and User Generated Content (UGC). Then you share it!
- Allow customers to comment on your page: Customers will come to your page to ask questions, attain customer service and see if there are already answers to the questions they may have. Share their questions, concerns or comments. More importantly though, respond as often as possible.
- Provide Customer Service: Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are excellent customer service tools. Have someone monitor your feed for questions and ensure they can answer questions quickly. I am a loyal customer of Airbnb because they are phenomenal with their social media customer service.
- Content Marketing: Post relevant content your followers are interested in. Test different approaches, articles, videos and short films. Digital storytelling is becoming more and more popular. Don’t miss the chance to tell your brands story or let consumers tell it for you.
- Social Responsibility: More than 80% of consumers will purchase from a brand because they are socially responsible. If you own a restaurant and bring the surplus food to homeless shelters once a week, talk about it. If you help employ, feed or house those in third world countries share your experience, pictures and what you have learned. We consumers LOVE this!
- Create and use #Hashtags to connect with those talking to you, about you, with you or just about the same thing.
These methods are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to building an effective social media plan. However, these are things that as I look around I see many businesses and corporations are not doing. It is easier to write and read this than it is to do this, but it is imperative for anyone wanting to build a successful social brand.
Interested in Learning More? Check these out and see if your favorite brands are “doing social media right.”