Taking your brand social: Can social media bring you success?
Just like Burger King, companies can find their success in social media. Companies at some point, finally turn to social media and consequently to their online customers, to help them get back up. But, what do you know about social media? Surprisingly, a lot of businesses still don’t understand the effectiveness of social media, so if you can relate – you are not alone.
The key is to know your customer behaviours to be able to effectively use social media to create a buzz and interest in your brand.
As it is repeatedly mentioned, most things are done online – whether it’s taking your cake business online to retail shopping– whoever your audience is, they’re online.
Potential customers are all over social media platforms - talking about things, expressing how they feel, complaining, praising and leaving reviews.
If your brand is not online, you could be missing out on a lot of opportunities to build good relationships with your customers, to attract new prospects and to maintain existing relationships.
You could be missing out on your customers talking about you.
How you utilise social media will need to become your responsibility.
Selecting your social
There are many social platforms to select from, some you will already have read about like the most obvious: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram (to name a few) and some you may not have heard much about such as Foursquare and StumbleUpon.
Before jumping on to all the sites, you will have to determine which ones will be worth your business time and effort. Social media requires constant attention. You will have to make sure you are ready to take on this challenge.
Facebook and Twitter are two of the most important platforms that most businesses should have. 60% of Facebook users sign in every day and check their page for updates regularly, especially with the rise of mobile usage. Twitter has 271 million monthly active users, and the average time spent of Twitter by users in 170 minutes.
Define your target audience
Don’t expect your social following to grow overnight; it requires a lot of time and a good strategy to build a following list that will be beneficial. But, where most businesses fail, is when they fail to define who their target audience is, and do not have a strategy on how to create a good following.
It’s all good and well to make it look like you have a large following base; you could easily buy these following lists. But, the list will be no good to you if the customers for one, are not genuinely interested in your business and secondly, if they won’t be engaging with your posts. This is why an organic following is far more advantageous to the business than just buying followers.
Communicating with customers through content
Content creation is booming in the digital marketing sphere. It is a unique way for businesses to write valuable content about their field of business that is useful for the reader.
Creating content that gets your reader talking will help get your brand message shared and spread across the Internet.
If you have a good content strategy, you will be able to reach the right target audience and can potentially be an influencer for your customers, as the experts in your field. This will make you credible, and your brand will become more obvious to people, which should lead to more inquiries and conversions.
Google see’s original content as a credible source, but it needs to include valuable information and meaningful links. It needs to be well structured, easy to read and most importantly - it needs to original and make sense.
Be influenced by influencers
You may think you’re the boss in your field, but your influence has to come from somewhere. Sites like Twitter or LinkedIn are filled with great influencers that can get your brain sparking with ideas. With Twitter, you can easily find people who are influencers in certain topics by using the hashtag to find specific posts and people.
Twitter usually shows people who have certified accounts on the top of the list; a certified account gives the individual authority from Twitter as someone who has proven to be influential or of a brand that is successful.
Connect with these people and keep up-to-date with what they are sharing and saying, you may find news and information quicker on Twitter than by word of mouth.
LinkedIn is great if you want to follow people who influence you and motivate you to be successful and keep moving forward. I follow people like James Caan, Richard Branson and Vivek Wadhwa.
They regularly post articles that I find being good general business knowledge and they creatively write motivational messages through anecdotes. These kinds of posts will give you ideas on the sorts of content that are trending and you could get ideas for the types of posts you could be writing for your business.
You can use apps like followerwonk to help you delve into your Twitter analytics. You can create a report on who your followers are, where they’re from, when they tweet and much more. It is a useful tool to help you monitor your followers and use the information to help make your brand more socially active.
Keep your communication and content consistent
Honestly, there is no point setting up social media accounts, if you have no intention of using it properly. There is no point having an account just to have ‘an online presence’ it won’t do your business any justice, and in fact, it will make you look less credible.
Imagine, a prospect lands on your social profile, to find there is nothing valuable on there. This is a customer that has expected to see something they may be interested in, something that can help influence them; they may be looking for advice – but if there is nothing there to share – your customer will not be talking about it and most definitely will not be re-visiting.
The best advice for social activity is to keep your posts regular. It doesn’t have to be every day (though depending on your business, it may need to be daily, to get maximum results). However, at least two new blogs/articles a week will place you in the safe zone, to start off with while you create your momentum. From then, you can assess how much traffic your content is creating and whether your audience is finding the information useful.
Crème of the crop: Competitor research
Aside from all the other important points above, one of the top tips for social media success is:
Do your competitor research!
This blog post from social media examiner tells you how to create a social media strategy by spying on your competitors.
If your competitors have been on social media before you, chances are (hopefully) that they would have done their research, and would already have a good following list of people sharing their posts and a strategy that you can implement.
- What social networks are your competitors on?
- How actively are they using their social accounts?
- Who are they following and who follows them?
- What kinds of posts are they posting?
- How popular is their social media strategy?
Having answered questions like this will give you a good idea on whether social media will work for your business, if you can do it better than your competitors, and how much of an influence it can potentially have.
Research can never be a bad thing - the more you know, the better the decisions will be that you ultimately make. Become an expert in social media and know exactly which platforms will help your business grow, challenge your competitors and get back in the game.