When building your brand’s presence online, it’s vital to understand social media best practices. If you are looking to gain loyal followers, build trust, and/or increase sales, your approach and content distribution strategy can be achieved through understanding and implementing the correct practices on the many social media channels available. Each social network offers unique ways to interact and connect with individuals around the world with similar interests and values. With these options in mind, there are a few ways your brand can successfully engage users on social media.
How did we get here?
Before all of the social media hype, marketing was a one-way communication approach. To name a few mediums, marketers formerly relied on TV, radio, direct mail, and newspaper ads to present a problem, highlight their company, and offer the perfect solution.
Marketing is no longer a one-way communication approach, where the job is done once we publish our content. Today, one-way communication is obsolete and social media has given power to the people, allowing consumers to directly communicate with brands.
Social media has created a two-way communication approach, meaning brands need to take part in the conversations that develop after their ad has launched. Marketing 2.0 is all about building long-lasting relationships, by taking an active part in the conversation. Social media not only allows users to communicate one-on-one with brands, but allows them to decide exactly what they want to see and scroll past the rest. We bet this paragraph just gave you flashbacks of being picked last for dodgeball, but the truth doesn’t have to hurt. Channel your active listening skills, empathy, and be one of the guys/gals.
Community Not Audience
The options are endless, re-think your campaign strategies and become more innovative, focusing on new and inclusive ways to provide value to your followers. It is important to note that engaging in conversation is important to understand and implement, but it is fundamental that you grasp this: Social media is a community of individuals and not an audience to talk at.
Let’s not make this harder than it needs to be. Think about the people in your life whom you reach out to when you have a question, need advice, or want to discuss current events or pop culture with. Do these people talk at you without a break in conversation for you to chime in and give your opinion? Or, does the conversation have an organic flow, allowing space for all parties to process the information and impart their point of view?
Brands have the ability to and should take part in conversations with their followers. If your brand is not conducting this type of engagement, it is not too late to start. While some marketers choose to follow the rule of thirds in their marketing approach – meaning 1/3 of their content is business promotion – we believe that the best approach is for brands to cut the act and get personal. Companies are no longer able to hide behind a veil, remaining unreachable and untouchable.
If there is one thing to take away from this post, it’s understanding that social media is a community not an audience. Brands must take time to build lasting relationships with their followers and participate in the conversations igniting on the newsfeed. Take a moment to look at your brand’s social media approach – step back, dissect, define, understand, and make some changes – aka become a part of the community.