A quick way to promote brand awareness and to increase customer traffic is to take advantage of social media. Not all brands, however, immediately get the most out of social media nor their expected results. In order to understand the ins and outs of social media for business, one could just apply the basic marketing principles and metrics. There have to be important metrics in mind before a business invests time, budget and effort on social media. Placement, positioning, the product to be featured, the people to be targeted: all these must be considered in choosing even the specific social media sites a business would step into. A brand or product’s promotion can only go so far, and its price couldn’t be appealing when only one marketing approach is applied to the different social media sites.
This article is part one of our series on social media for business. In this series, we are going to learn from the brands that have harnessed social media. But before that, let’s take with us some frequently repeated tips about marketing and brand promotion today.
1. Know your audience
A business begins with a customer in mind. In the digital world, you can easily turn your customer profile into a customer avatar. However, you can only find matches for your customer avatar if you know where to look. Statistically, it is estimated that for every face there are seven lookalikes, doppelganger matches around the world. Out of today’s global population of 7.91 billion, 4.95 billion are Internet users. 4.62 billion of them are social media users (source: Digital 2022: Global Overview Report). But where on social media? Which platform? You may have spent much already for Facebook ads but your customer base is in TikTok. Or you may have jumped into TikTok but your customers are not into it. Know your audience and know where they are in the social media multiverse.
(Related article: 8 Great Ways to Personalize Your Customer Service)
2. Content strategy
There is so much going on in social media. Content and adverts from all other brands, for example, are all noise and clutter getting in the way between you and your potential customer’s attention. As they say, “content is king.” Customers would remain unbothered, however, when for them your content is not relevant nor striking any chord at all. Personalize your content, make it engaging by speaking to your customer at a person-to-person level.
(Related article: 6 Consumer Trends to Keep in Mind for Online Marketing 2022)
3. Customer experience
With social media already being widely used at any point in a customer journey for purchase decisions, it’s no longer just enough to have a “buy” button. While you can do anything you like to draw customers into making a purchase, you must also do everything necessary so that customers could preach about your brand and their experience as your customers, rather than finding your brand unsatisfactory that they would guarantee your downfall. With social media, your aim of providing a desirable customer experience must not only lead to the point of purchase. Since everything gets shared on social media, including customer experiences, your aim must go way beyond the point of purchase.
(Related article: 3 Ways to Improve Customer Experience Amid the Pandemic)
4. Core values
Customers identify themselves with brands that value the same things as them and value them as customers. Beyond any customer experience strategy is putting emphasis on customer value. Lean into your company’s core values while paying attention to the voice of your customer. You can always emphasize diversity, equality and inclusivity, but you can only be authentic by being firm in your values and valuing your customers. What really do they want? How well, really, do you know them?
(Related article: The Essentials of Social Media Listening)
Social Media for Business
Thus we come full circle and go back to really knowing the customer. Know your audience so you’ll know what message would be appropriate for them. There’s a difference between just putting content out there and getting your message across. Josh Weltman made it clear in his book, Seducing Strangers: How to Get People to Buy What You’re Selling (2015). For Weltman, a message is that which “is sent from one person to another.” It “is a means of connecting.”
“Content is mindless,” he continues. “It’s made up of features without a thought about the real benefits of a message: informing, entertaining, inspiring, or motivating.”
Your message must be able to connect with your audience, communicated in a way that would be relatable to them. “Effective communication requires knowing your audience and caring about their satisfaction” (Weltman).
Once you’re on social media, your audience will also get to know your brand on a deeper and personal level. Over time they’re going to see what your brand’s personality really is, whether you’ve been authentic or just being pretentious. Brands desperately wanting to win over social media through click baits, bait-and-switch tactics, and misinformation can only go so far. Be authentic and consistent in the values you want your brand to be associated with and reap the benefits of gaining likes, followers, and, of course, purchases through social media.
Up next: Top Social Media Platforms to Explore for Your Business [Part 2]