Social media has dramatically shifted the way individuals ingest information, communicate with one another and interact their larger communities. You can check out the hottest lipstick from Sephora, for example, and buy it before its release in-stores via their Instagram. You can also tweet at Time Warner Cable because the cable guy is now five hours late, so you need a direct line to customer service STAT and get an apologetic response with a coupon link in a matter of minutes.
These modern methods of communication consequently affect the way organizations and companies market to their audience. Social media platforms now play integral roles in terms of humanizing your brand by allowing your company or organization the ability to develop a personality, earn credibility and take part in the community of conversation.
Careful, though – your social media content can easily become blasé or hum drum if you let it. Appropriate voice, custom tone, killer content, attractive visuals and specific formatting are crucial for your company’s triumph over the fields of social media, but remember, social media needs to be…. SOCIAL.
Here are five steps to KEEP. THE. DIALOG. GOING.
Step 1: Recognize
According to the latest statistics released this year, there are over 2.206 billion active users on social media, accounting for about 30% of the global population – about an 8.7% increase from last year. With social media’s growth showing no signs of slowing anytime soon, it is vital to shift focus from stale traditional marketing approaches to more personalized dialogue-based ones.
Social media platforms are constantly increasing in number and variety, creating an ever-expansive universe for communication. Some of the distinguished staples include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, Pinterest and LinkedIn. With all of the options, it is understandable to be overwhelmed, so here’s a quick breakdown of the three top contenders and a bit about them.
Facebook – 1.5 billion registered users (180 million new users in the last 12 months)
- Interface best for engaging graphics alongside punchy text
- Good for soliciting feedback
- Share content from industry leaders or trendsetters in your field
- Helpful tip: Be personal
Twitter – 316 million active users
- Interface best for short, sweet and impactful text
- Good for reaching out personally to individual users
- Share and search using industry hash tags
- Helpful tip: Tweets are 140 characters max (Twitter may soon be announcing an amendment to this limitation)
Instagram – 300 million active users
- Interface best for beautiful, original and engaging photography and graphics
- Good for depicting your company in an innovative, visual way
- Share creative user content including your product or service
- Helpful tip: Comment and like photos of other influential people and organizations in your field
Step 2: Customize
Who does your brand sound like? How would you speak to that person? Cultivate an authentic voice that sounds like and delights your customers then tailor your tone depending on the social media outlet. In all platforms, text, voice and image need to work in harmony.
Step 3: Inform
Many companies become so heavily focused on the concept of selling that they forget to inform. Share helpful tips, tricks and interesting information about your company or product. Create interest in your product first by addressing questions the existing audience has and they will invest time and energy toward your company.
Step 4: Engage
Delighted customers talk positively about your brand and attract others, thus doing the marketing for you. Take time to respond to relevant messages, posts and tags to continue the conversation. Share cool photos or positive messages from your customers to spotlight them and keep your messaging fresh.
Step 5: Interact
Promoting or linking to content from other trusted sources gains you credibility and interest amongst your followers. Tweet back to your followers that have tagged you with a question or problem. Share a photo of a delicious meal that a customer has created with your product, a behind-the-scenes photo from an upcoming event, a candid shot from a promotional photo shoot or a new study from an innovative engineer in the oil industry.
Be creative in how you interact with your consumer base and other correlated organizations. The possibilities are endless.
Need some help with your social media strategy? Contact us today.