Too many times businesses undervalue social media. The truth is 91% of online adults use social media regularly (Hubspot). If your consumers are on social media, than you need to be too. But social media isn’t just a chore for businesses to update constantly, it’s a source of marketing that can enhance your business presence, improve your reputation, and generate interest which in turn can lead to sales.
Today the goal of any marketing campaign is to go viral. This is, of course, much easier said than done as breaking through the clutter to reach consumers requires just the right combination of great content, suitable channel, and timing. While you should craft your social media content with the goal of going viral in mind (hey, it could happen!) you should also have realistic expectations and goals. Most businesses do not become Internet sensations, at least overnight, and patience is the key steadily building an online following. Making sure your content is of the upmost quality is the crucial in this process.
While every businessperson would love for new consumers to willingly come to you, the fact of the matter is they probably won’t unless they have a reason or you present a compelling pull. In either case, it is more prudent of a business to get to know and tap their existing loyal consumer base. Bring your online presence to where your fans are congregating whether it be relevant blogs or forums. Find out what your consumers and target audience are saying and try to join in on their conversation naturally. You don’t need to constantly push your products online. Sometimes marketing involves becoming a part of your fan base’s culture. Conduct environmental listening, or online scanning for mentions of your business or something relevant to your business, so you can be at the start of the discussion.
The phenomena of word of mouth is magnified tremendously online where a user can share a post with their hundreds of followers with the click of a button. Influencers are trendsetters and leaders, those online who have an impact on their peers’ decisions, even if it is only subconsciously. An influencer’s opinion will have more credibility to a consumer than your own brand, so always try to create content with the influencer in mind. If a consumer willingly shares your content with others who then pass it on to their friends, it is considered organic growth that is more authentic and meaningful than if you pay for reach. Consumers simply see your content as something cool their friend shared with them, rather than a direct advertising effort.
What is the point of a social media account if you aren’t being social? Users on social media expect to be able to interact with brands whether they are providing a positive review, writing a question, or filing a complaint. Your business must actively use its social media accounts not just to post, but to respond as well. Social media is a two-way street that provides the opportunity for your business to engage with your customers and target audience. Without this personable aspect, consumers will perceive your business as cold and uncaring to their wants and needs.