The biggest thing that companies misunderstand in marketing is social media.
The point of social media is, well, to be SOCIAL. They want to engage with other people and talk about themselves, their day, their experiences, etc. Sometimes they want advice on life situations or are just looking for a laugh and a brief escape from monotony. The last thing anyone wants is someone butting into their conversation and pasting them in the face with brand marketing.
There are many ways in which you can help others and engage like a normal human on social media without turning into a pushy salesman and leaving a sour impression on consumers. The important takeaway is that you focus on giving advice and helping others instead of increasing sales and bragging about your product. You have to give of yourself far more than you realize in order be open to receive.
Quick Tips To Be More Social On Social Media
Join and Create Groups – Focus on your topic, not your brand. If you have a product that juices fruits and veggies, your focus should be on healthy living and clean eating. Joining a group on Phase 4 of Marvel Movies might be fun to follow but it won’t help you in building a following for your brand. If you start your own FB group, invite influencers and customers to join the conversation. Don’t only push your brand – invite others in the industry to discuss important issues and provide solutions.
Share – Yes, this means all around sharing but in this instance I’m addressing sharing other people’s content. If someone else has explained a situation way better than you have, share it with your customers. It doesn’t matter that it came from someone else because your consumers will start to feel that you put them first and care about finding the most valuable information to help them. This builds loyalty and puts you in the forefront as someone they can trust when they are in need.
Share customer posts or screenshots or even offer a discount or freebie to influencers in exchange for a case study or review. There are many ways to find other relevant content with your customer base but the important thing is that your audience doesn’t get bored hearing the same voice day in and day out.
Personalize It – Besides sharing and highlighting customer posts and content, respond to your own audience. Use their names and give customized messages to each individual that engages with you. It is a much more friendly approach and draws in more people. If possible, respond by having an employee use their own name in the comment. By having a response from a real person, customers feel more appreciated and connected to the company.
Create Conversations – Here’s more of that “social” idea. Ask your customers questions or create little opinion polls. Ask them about controversial or even goofy topics in your industry. For instance, M&M’s constantly asks about flavors people want to see or Dominos asks if pineapple should be banned from pizzas. The point is to create a discussion that intrigues people enough to get them to take the few seconds to respond.
Q&A Sessions – Offer relevant and extremely valuable morsels of information to folks in need of answers. By being one of the first to reply with a well researched or informative answer, not only will you rise above your competition but you will be seen as a thought leader by consumers. Thought leaders tend to draw a crowd. You can even create guides and fleshed out articles based on these questions to help clear up questions or misconceptions. Going the extra mile with additional content can prove to catapult your brand image in the eyes of consumers.
Not to beat a dead horse but BE AUTHENTIC. Folks connect with a human being who cares about helping them; who puts them first. Don’t simply rattle off how great you and your product are online because few people care or will even pay attention. The way to truly be social online is to interact with others and share in their experiences. Offer advice and treat them how you would like to be treated. Use their names and connect with them like you would a friend in your own life. The name of the game is connection and social media is your glue. Use it wisely.
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