Today’s business world is both global and globally connected. However, in order to truly reap the advantages of this revolution in marketing, distribution, research and development and many other areas of business, you need to make an effort to participate. A big part of this effort should be making full use of social media channels. Put simply, if your brand isn’t connected to a range of social media networks in 2019, then to a large part of your potential customer/client base, it simply doesn’t exist.
As of 2018, over three billion people worldwide were using social media. To put that into perspective, that’s almost half the total population of the planet. They’re using social media to connect with their friends, but they are also using it to follow brands and discover new products. This trend is only increasing: more people now follow brands on social media platforms than they do celebrities.
Social media is an incredibly effective platform for increasing brand awareness. People use social media channels to discover new brands they’d like to use as well asfor following brands they’re using already. Unlike traditional advertising, social media allows you to connect directly with your customers. It can be used to give your brand a human face and personality, and can be used to initiate two-way conversations with the public. This is the kind of priceless promotion that money can’t buy, and the best thing about it is that it needn’t cost you a cent. All that is required is to make the effort.
Ideally, you want to create what is known as meaningful relationship moments, where an interaction between your brand and a member of the public resonates so strongly that they make an enduring connection with the brand. This can turn a casual browser into a regular customer, and a regular customer into a brand advocate.
Brand advocacy is also priceless. The best promotion is via word of mouth, when one person tells their friends about the great experience they’ve had using a product or service. This person is trusted because they have no ulterior motive. In a media age in which we’re all increasingly cynical and worldly wise when it comes to advertising, word-of-mouth advocacy and promotion is so important. Now, imagine how that is amplified by the global reach of social media and you can see its potential.
Sharing content such as articles, memorable images or videos is also a great promotional tool. If people enjoy what you have to show, then they’ll pass it on. Hair regrowth system Viabrance has its own Viabrance channel on YouTube to share videos with their followers, and these can be linked to via Facebook, Twitter and other popular social media platforms. The secret is to produce and share content that isn’t just promotional, but also adds value in its own right. If it’s entertaining or informative, then people will share it around, and your brand will benefit.
Similarly, platforms such as LinkedIn provide a great opportunity for your brand to become an industry leader via articles and think pieces, oradvocacy of charitable causes that chime with your brand values. By providing information and educational resources that will be of use to your target demographic, you’ll build an invaluable relationship of trust.
Create a community
It’s all about staying uppermost in people’s minds and projecting the right kind of image for your brand. Don’t try to always push your product: when the time is right for them to buy, they’ll think of your brand and favor it above your rivals. Entertaining posts and contributions to online discussions can also boost traffic to your main website, as can curating appropriate content created by others.
Social media can also be used to respond to complaints and to exercise damage limitation if a reputation-harming incident occurs. You can communicate quickly and directly to the public, without having to run the risk of misrepresentation or bias in the media. You can state the true facts of the matter, apologize sincerely, or publically demonstrate how you’re acting to rectify the problem. Anyone can make a mistake: it’s how you’re seen to be righting it that counts.
More pleasantly, you can and should use social media to respond to people who praise your brand, both thanking them and amplifying their praise by sharing it. Finally, social media is also a great source for information gathering and analytics. Every business wants to know who their customers are, what they like and what they don’t like. Create a social media community for your followers and they’ll happily share this information – leading to a better experience for all concerned.