Not too many years ago, social networking was used mostly as a way for certain groups of people such as teenagers and twenty-somethings to get to know new people and “hang out.” Think MySpace, or even Facebook in its early days. Today, social media is a vital component of many companies’ online marketing campaigns. Effective for every industry, social media has become a way to build your brand, engage with customers, show the “human” side of your business, and ultimately, create a great customer experience.
First of all, it’s important to know your audience. Who are those who are interested in your product or service? What is their general age, geographic location, and where do they congregate online? Knowing as much as possible about your target audience makes it possible for you to post videos, blogs, and other content that will engage and attract the right people – those who can easily be converted into loyal customers.
Create compelling, interesting pages. Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or other social media networks, make sure your pages offer quality, informative, engaging content. You want to post often enough to stay connected with potential and existing customers, but it’s important you don’t post too often. Posting about your product or service several times a day will only look like spam to your followers and fans, who will quickly grow tired of all the promotion. When you do post, make sure the majority of your content is geared toward informing and engaging; you should also make an effort to respond to comments and really engage with your audience.
Make your followers and fans feel special with rewards. Those who are loyal customers deserve something special, and want to feel as though you really appreciate them. Offer your fans special discounts or deals others aren’t privy to; make sure they know of any new products or services first, before you announce it to the public.
Even without the content you contribute, opinions can be formed about your brand through social media channels. People highly value their friends’ opinions and feelings about a particular brand. When just one person makes a comment about your company using social media, regardless of whether the comment is positive or negative, it can impact your brand more than you realise. This is why it is so essential to focus on giving users a great experience; just a few people talking about how great your product is, how your customer service department is top-rated, can spread throughout the web and send your success soaring!
In the end, customers and potential customers want to know that you care, that you are listening, and that your product/service is designed with their needs in mind. Social media makes it possible for you to connect on a personal level, communicate with followers, and engage them with the amazing value you deliver. It isn’t about direct selling, but instead about giving away information so compelling and building a level of trust that will entice your followers to come to you for solutions.
Social media is all about the right customer experience. Is your company participating on those networks where potential customers can be found, and if so, are you developing your content in a way that attracts and engages followers in a way that makes them want to share with their friends? When done right, social media can be a huge boost for brand awareness, trust, and ultimately, building a much larger customer base.