When I think about what makes social media so powerful, I always come back to one simple thing: relationships. In today’s digital media landscape, getting to know your audiences and building relationships with them is easier than ever. Through social media and HubSpot analytics, marketers can understand their audience in ways we never could before.
Embrace the “Big 4” of Social Media
Social media has forever changed the way companies interact with customers. Previously, there were many layers of interaction between sellers and buyers; today, people can simply tweet or DM a Brand to ask questions, share thoughts or make complaints. To be part of the conversation and stay relevant, your company should consider having a presence on the “Big Four” social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Some people might discover that they don’t need to be on every platform; perhaps your target market doesn’t overlap neatly with one or more of the platforms. For example, if you are selling medical equipment you may not need Instagram, or if you are selling dog clothes you may not need to be on LinkedIn. In simple terms – you need to be where your audience is to stay relevant and remain profitable.
Needing to engage on social media platforms can feel overwhelming at times as people are seeing thousands of posts every day. How do you make sure your brand stands out? We break it down for you in 4 easy, digestible steps to create lasting relationships with your followers on social media.
Establish a Brand ‘Voice’
Why does a brand voice matter? It’s an important part of social media success, and it often determines whether your audience continues to follow your brand over time. It’s critical to establish a voice for your brand to maintain that you’re talking as an authority or expert in a certain field. Many people who have a strong relationship with a brand say shared values are a primary reason for it.
Consumers are in control, and they crave connection—open, real and empathetic relationships with the brands they love. We recommend taking a look at your company mission statement and see what values match up with your company culture. Then you’ll want to incorporate that tone in your day-to-day posting on social media platforms.
Once you’re clear on your company values, take time to research and understand your audience. Follow trending conversations to see if there are certain values that are important to your prospects and customers. By highlighting how those values align with your brand, you can increase loyalty.
Just Show Up
Companies who engage on social media channels have higher loyalty rates from their customers. Engagement with your audience shows you’re not a robot who is mindlessly scheduling posts pushing the company messaging. Rather, there’s something real and authentic behind the brand – a voice. People are looking for reasons to connect with a brand, so give them as many as you can.
Here are a few of the different ways you can engage with your audience on social media:
- Start and engage in ongoing conversations and become part of the story
- Look for ways to show up in different social channels like using trending hashtags, joining in on an event, or participating in relevant discussions
- Favorite, like, repost, or retweet when people share their photos and ideas
- Respond when your audience incorporates on their social media – could be something as simple as a like, retweet, or favorite
- Comment when you see relevant content or see something funny in relation – people like to feel like they can relate to the brand
Share Relevant and Timely Content
Social media is the outlet for content. However, all the posting on channels isn’t going to matter if the content you’re posting isn’t interesting, relevant, or authentic. So how do you go about putting your audience’s interests first? There are several tools on the market to help you evaluate your audience demographics and to understand what they’re interested in and how you should deliver it.
The easiest one is probably the social media channel’s native analytics dashboard. You can gain numerous insights into your audience demographics such as age, interests, profession, and location. In knowing and engaging with your audience, you can consciously build meaningful relationships. Always ask if what your posting will resonate with your audience. Are you providing them with something they’ll care about? If your audience finds value, they’ll continue to come back and engage with the brand.
A New Line of Customer Service
Social is the new frontline for a brand’s customer service, providing them the opportunity to actively listen to both positive and negative feedback. Most people expect to hear back from the brand they’re interacting with on Twitter, and 5 out of 10 people want a response within the hour. For customers who don’t hear back from the brand, the majority of customers don’t hesitate to tell their friends and family about the experience and escalate concerns through other forms of communication. So you not only need to have a social media presence, but you must be actively listening and engaging as well.
Every interaction is an opportunity to create a lasting relationship and deepen the brand experience. No complaint should go unaddressed. Brands should also be taking the time to acknowledge people who are mentioning and championing the brand by responding to them. By acknowledging customers posts, direct messages, and comments, you broaden your relationship and create a sense of community with your followers.
Social Media is a Must
Social media is no longer the “new kid on the marketing block” but it’s continuing to grow and it’s increasingly becoming a preferred channel for communication. Utilizing your brand’s social media channels to build relationships will help you build your brand, increase your reach, and expand your network.
Make sure you’re consistently looking for new, innovative ways to build relationships with your audience to increase engagement and provide them with what they’re looking for with high-quality content they can learn from. If you value those relationships, nurture them, and continue to engage, hopefully when they’re ready to buy, they’ll think of you.
Does you business social media marketing strategies need a boost? Contact Creative MMS today to help build relationships through social media. You can thank us later!