Brands are starting to see the importance of social media marketing. Only in 2017, 90% of businesses were using social networks and this number is expected to keep growing in 2019 and beyond.
The reason for that is simple – social networks let you show the human side of your brand and build emotional relationships with your audiences.
This is why you need to use these channels strategically.
Instead of mindlessly sharing content to promote your brand and products, you want to engage your audiences by helping them, educating them, and personalizing their interactions with your brand. You need to observe them not just as your customers, but as people with specific needs, problems, and preferences.
In other words, you need to establish a two-way interaction with your customers that will increase their satisfaction and loyalty.
Here is how social sharing may help you here.
Delivering Value to your Audiences
The majority of your marketing tactics include a one-way communication, where you’re the one talking and a customer is the one listening.
However, today’s customers want to be heard. They want to publicly voice their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with your brand. Most importantly, they want you to listen to them carefully and respond directly to their needs and preferences.
This is where social networks step in, as they encourage the dialogue between brands and their customers.
There are a few powerful tactics that may help you:
Share valuable content
Research says that only 20% of your social media posts should be promotional, marketing your new products or events. On the other hand, 80% of your content needs to add value to your target audience. Every piece of content you share on social should either inform a user about something, teach them something new, or simply help them stay at the top of a certain trend.
In addition to promoting your blog posts, you should also create content for social networks specifically. This could be anything that works for your audiences, from memes and inspirational quotes to how-to videos.
You should also share content from other credible resources in your niche. The idea is not to promote your website, but to deliver value to your audience through engaging, delightful, and insightful content.
Build an online community
Building an online community is an opportunity to connect with your most loyal customers and build strong relationships with them. For starters, you will need to choose where to build your social media group, depending on your audiences’ preferences. Above all, remember that you’re not building a community to promote your brand. Instead, you want to create connections between group members and share insights and content that would help them solve specific problems. The relevance and quality of your answers will indicate your industry knowledge.
Once your followers see how helpful and authentic your content is, they will start commenting on your posts and sharing them with their friends. Apart from boosting their engagement with your brand, social shares will increase your brand’s organic reach and boost your brand awareness.
Emphasizing your Brand Personality
Social networks let you promote your brand personality and humanize your online presence.
Now, there are numerous ways to do so.
First, you need to set your tone of voice. This depends on your business goals, values, and missions. For example, if you want to brand yourself as authoritative and serious, then you will use industry jargon and avoid emoticons. On the other hand, when attracting Millennial audiences, your messages need to be friendly and energetic.
Second, you need to show the human side of your brand through your social media content. Apart from using relaxed language that resonates with your audience, you also need to share behind-the-scenes content to let customers meet the people behind your brand. For example, post an image of your employee, along with a brief story about them. You should also show your face in video content. Apart from traditional videos, you could also use Facebook Live that are highly interactive and lets you communicate with your audiences in real-time.
Third, invest in a consistent online presence. This is where building a brand style guide can help. It should dictate any aspect of your social media presence, from the language your employees use when communicating with customers to the content formats to share and image sizes on different social channels.
Hiring a digital agency that will help you build a cohesive brand. Talk to them and emphasize what sentiment you want to evoke and what message you want to send to your audiences. They will help you build your visual presence, from logos to colors, across multiple online channels. For example, look at the client portfolio of the ToastCreative digital agency from Sydney, which emphasizes the uniqueness of each brand. You will see that their clients’ online presence varies from strict and authoritative to playful and friendly, based on their brands’ specific personalities and requirements.
You should have a solid social media calendar and use a social media management tool to automate your social sharing activities.
Gain Valuable Insights
Social networks give you the opportunity to listen to your customers, collect their feedback, and provide real-time customer support.
For starters, you need to use social networks to increase your brand transparency. Build honest relationships with your customers and be open when discussing your brand goals, values, and missions. This is how you will encourage them to say what they really feel about your brand.
Many online brands are afraid of negative customer feedback on social networks. People will always say what they think of you and the way you answer their feedback means a lot. Be they positive or negative, you need to show that you appreciate your customers’ opinions and that you’ll take immediate action to address their frustrations and pain points.
This is exactly what Netflix did a while ago. Namely, they noticed that the number of their Twitter followers complaining about falling asleep while watching the show. To show that they care about their experiences, they created Netflix Socks that recognize when a user falls asleep and pause the show.
Now, there are numerous ways to encourage people to share their feedback on social networks:
- Encourage them to review and rate you on social.
- Create social media polls and invite them to share their insights.
- Use social media monitoring tools to track their discussions and participate in them actively. The way this works is simple – you set the keywords you want to track (your brand name, your product name, competitor products, etc.) and get notified when they’re mentioned on social.
- Track conversations in relevant social media groups, just like I mentioned above.
Over to You
Social networks are the foundation of your online presence.
They allow you to build and promote your unique brand identity and nurture stronger relationships with your customers. By establishing a firm, two-way communication with your target audiences and proving that you care about their opinions, you will also increase their satisfaction and encourage their loyalty.
Sure, you need to experiment with your social media marketing tactics and test them to see which ones resonate with your audiences.
About the Author!
Jacob Wilson is a business consultant, and an organizational psychologist, based in Brisbane. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Bizzmark blog.