The rise of social media has turned the business world on its head. Gone are the days whereby the only way to communicate your message was through electronic and print media. These forms of traditional media offer impressive mass market reach and some level of market segmentation, however there is little way to track direct engagement with the customer. Traditional media still has an important role to play, however the rapid evolvement of social media is where businesses of all sizes and types should also be.
Social media offers businesses the opportunity to engage directly with their customers in real time, in a 24/7marketplace. It is an extremely targeted marketing and communication tool available at your fingertips.
Simply put, there is no better way to engage with your customers in a highly targeted way for a zero or minimal financial investment.
Each social media platform has its strengths and uses. The trick is to find the platform that best suits your business and then build that into every facet of your business and marketing plans.
However just because you know how to use social media, does not necessarily mean you know how it use it well in a business context. Being on Facebook in a purely social sense is one thing, using it and other social media platformseffectively for serious business is another.
The trick is content. Bold, interesting, conversational, social, emotive, innovative – the content you post should reflect the personality of your business.
It is easy to use the analogy of a shop. Your website is your online version of your physical store. Your social media platforms are the conversations you have with your customers. So where the website offers information, prices and contact details, the Facebook page (for example) provides the chat - and this conversation is your content. It creates excitement about the product, provides special offers and sales and gives customers the opportunity to view video, read relevant articles and see what others are saying about their experience.
It is all about keeping your customers (your social media followers) interested. Your social media followers have optedto follow you and the challenge is to keep them engaged. When they are engaging with you they will not only research and purchase, they will also act as social influencers by sharing your posts with their friends and commenting on their experiences. Today’s consumer looks for more than what an advertisement tells them. They look for credible reviews, peer experiences and other research to influence their buying decision. Conversely, you will know when your customers are not interested or engaged as they will “unlike” or “unfollow” you.
The reality is that first impressions count and today’s customers are increasingly expecting businesses to have a social media presence. A social media presence gives the impression that your organisation is contemporary and accessible. It becomes available to the customer whenever and wherever they choose to access their information. In fact, research shows that customers are opting to visit social media sites before they visit an organisation’s website. This is a significant and growing trend and yet another strong reason to ensure your business is active in the social media marketplace.“Fish where the fish are” is a common expression in terms of marketing and this is extremely relevant when it comes to the use of social media. Know your market and their social media habits.
Ensure your business is in the face of your customers 24/7 by using social media and integrating it throughout your organisation. Build a social media plan with a goal in mind. Your objective might simply be to build brand awareness, or it could be completely sales oriented or aiming to change social opinion on an issue. Whatever your goal, the content of your social media – the conversations you are having with your customers through this channel - must reflect the personality of your organisation. Generate relevant and great content and watch your business grow!
360 Cre8ive Enterprises is a Communications, Digital Design and Public Relations consultancy - based in Townsville with a national reach. We work in partnership with our clients to deliver their brand, differently. Contact us today, for more information.