The purpose of social media for a business or organization is to be social. To connect with customers and constituents, build relationships in the context of community, and turn those relationships into positive outcomes for both parties. Have a look at how business can better engage on social media below.
Know your target audience
This is fundamental. Who is your target audience? How can your product and/or service help with their needs? What are they saying about you? These are questions you should be asking before you consider any interaction with your customers. You might have a wide target audience with varying needs and attitudes, and so it is important to tailor different social media platforms in order to better cater to your designated audience. Different demographics utilise different platforms, so consider who is using what, and where. Keep a look out for what your customers do and don’t like, as targeting these areas can improve your overall marketing scheme.
Identifying your influential and loyal consumers is also a key factor in helping to spread the word about your brand. Take a look at how Local Measure helps you to achieve this here.
Ask and answer questions
One way to keep people talking about your brand is by initiating discussion. Pose thought provoking questions that customers will be interested in answering. Open ended, neutral questions relevant to your brand allow customers to feel like they have a say in what they’re buying, and potentially offer you feedback that could improve your product. Questions can also help you further evaluate the kind of customers you are reaching and what they want.
If someone asks a question about your brand, you should always address this. Don’t just provide the answer, but offer additional assistance too. Keep in mind the sort of tone you use as well. Different audiences should be addressed appropriately.
Acknowledge when someone mentions your business
When someone expresses an opinion on your business, make sure to acknowledge it, whether it’s with a like or comment, though actual text or verbal responses, when appropriate, are the way to go. That way they know there is an avenue for communication and they will be more inclined to invest in your product if they believe they will be heard.
Participate in Discussion
Comment on current trends and other discussions that are related to, but not necessarily about, your own business. Reblogging content or sharing can create rapport between other online presences, especially potential partners. Exploring other communities and participating in their discussions may be able to help you generate ideas and form connections that benefit your own company, while cementing your presence on social media.
Developing creative content and campaigns can generate discussion about your brand. Not only that, but it helps to maintain levels of interest in your product if you are successful. The more innovative your approach, the more attention you’ll garner. Make sure there is a mix in the type of content you produce. There are various multimedia options, videos, photos, podcasts and countless others that you could be using to reach your customers. Keep things interesting.
Social media activity is fast paced and constant. Make sure not to fall behind, by responding to any questions or mentions about your brand. This is particularly important for customer service related businesses.
In a social media environment, criticism is an inevitable reality. But this is an opportunity to turn something negative into a positive. Take into account what is being said and why; if a customer is unhappy, try to address the problem as quickly as possible. Identify and understand the perceived flaw, and communicate with the customer about how it could be better. If nothing else, criticism also allows you to empathise with the customer.
While it’s always good to be proactive, there are also things you shouldn’t do on social media. Repeatedly posting the same link, or posting too frequently often deters customers from following you. Social media managing app, Buffer has recently surveyed users on ‘how often is too often’ in terms of posting, and formulated an ideal schedule based on social platform.