It is all about interaction. Or at least, that’s what you’d think when social media comes to mind. Sometimes, though, things end up taking a different turn and social media might turn out to be… not that social.
Being a part of social media used to be easy, say, maybe ten years ago. It used to be all fun and games. You would discord and explore new websites, personalize your accounts, or just post some things that might make you flinch when you are older.
People did not know much about it and thus, businesses stuck to their “traditional” ways when it came to promoting their brands and products.
Times change, though, and, as marketers and business owners, so must we. Although many companies still use many well-established marketing techniques, such as email marketing and cold calling, social media marketing seems to have taken the lead.
The truth is that being social is an asset in real and digital life. Establishing connections with either customers, influencers, or other businesses through social media is a priceless marketing and sales advantage.
And with enough research and a good social media marketing strategy, any business can get that advantage. But how do you even begin this process? And more importantly, once you’ve started, how do you keep the engines of your social media accounts running?
Now, it’s important to know that there’s no award-winning recipe for social media success. In fact, much of this success comes from trial and error. But there are certain tricks that have been proven to work. And today, you can try these three easy tips that will allow you to properly connect online:
1. Engage, but Do Not Put a Ring on It
You and I and everybody else – we’re all social beings. One way or another, we need to feel connected, like we’re part of a group. Whether you can offer that sense of connection or not might be the factor that decides what happens further between your customer and your business.
Engaging with people might sound like a lot of effort, and it is! Although using an automated chat or bot can be time-saving, that can work on social media. You have to choose the best chatbot platform builder and you can add a human touch to your conversation. However, People are looking for genuine interactions, they are looking for a response that has a human touch, even if they are addressing a company.
And you can deliver what your customers need in two ways:
By Being Reactive
This basically means that you should:
- Reply to comments
- Like messages or comments
- Reply to a direct/private message
Usually, posting a comment or giving back a few likes does not take a lot of time — we’re talking about a few minutes here. But once you start to have a bigger following, you might have to delegate the task of interacting with followers to one of your social media specialists.
Being active on social media proves that you are interested in your followers.. It gives away a genuine feeling, causing users to start trusting your brand and forming a connection with you and your business.
By Being Proactive
This means that you should take the initiative. If you notice people mentioning you on different platforms, don’t just ignore them — engage with your audience in a proactive manner and let them know that you see them.
When it comes to engagement, people usually connect to ideas or stories that are relatable. It sparks their interest and when that happens, they tend to talk about it to other people. You could break it down to the idea of “word of mouth,” but on a digital platform.
Observing what people usually react to will also give you a hint in regards to what they feel most drawn to — are they reacting to a certain hashtag that is related to your brand? Or are they more drawn to a funny image or a quote that makes them share it with everyone? Maybe they are curious to see how their direct involvement impacts your campaign.
Having a concrete buyer persona, knowing your target market, and keeping an eye on your posts’ engagement can help you a lot when it comes to gaining brand loyalty.
2. Quality Over Quantity
You must have heard that in terms of content and numbers, quality matters more than quantity. Let’s take an example. Let’s say that you need to buy a laptop and you have two choices. You can either purchase a more expensive laptop that is going to last a couple of years, or you can buy a cheap laptop that is barely going to last one year. Isn’t the more expensive PC a better investment?
Now, let’s apply the same principle to your audience. Yes, the people who are following your page.
Wouldn’t it be better to have five followers that actually interact with your posts, rather than fifteen followers that never like your posts, comment, or send you messages?
It usually breaks down to these situations:
- you have a vast audience that pays very little attention to what you do and does not really engage with your content.
- you have a much more compact audience that is genuinely interested in what you have to share.
Interaction, in this case, represents the duality of both the “yay” or the “nay”. Having large numbers of followers is a good sign, indeed, but only if they engage with your business or products. If your page has 10.000 followers and only 10 people react to your posts recurrently, this might give rise to additional questions from someone that lands on your profile.
Your potential lead might wonder if your followers are actually real, and not bots. They might also wonder why your content is not getting the attention it should get and their trust in your brand might decrease considerably.
Segmentation can also be included in the discussion. When you have a large audience, then you will also have more than one target market. And we all know that different groups of people appreciate different kinds of content, on different platforms. This means they might not respond to all the things you have to share unless it is designed separately for them.
This essentially means that you have to cater to different needs and wants. This is time-consuming and might bring more problems than solutions, especially if you’re in charge of a smaller company.
Ultimately, it is entirely up to you to decide what your audience looks like: large, yet unresponsive, or small, yet engaged.
3. Keep It True
Information is a powerful weapon, but sometimes, that weapon can be used against you, which leaves a lot of space for some different opinions to form. And that is not a bad thing. Controversies can always appear and knowing how to handle them is crucial.
Some days will not be the brightest in terms of how you operate social media and you will have to face a harsh decision: you can either react to baseless rumors or stay silent and ride the wave towards smoother waters. Both options present certain risks.
It is true, people prefer avoiding any kind of blowback, but that might not necessarily be the best option all the time. There are times when you have to let your guard down and admit that some things are not as colorful as you want them to. And that’s okay!
Your users are just as human as you are, and they want something that makes them feel that way. Most often than not, life is not perfect. And social media should not try to depict everything as perfect.
Every business needs to face certain hardships during their existence and painting everything as perfect could only make your social media accounts fall in the “another picture-perfect page” category.
Although perfection is always desired, most consumers don’t empathize with that. And feeling like you are part of something is important — especially when it feels true to you and when you can connect to it.
Whether you like it or not, escaping the communication aspect of social media is impossible. Although many processes have gotten automated and technical lately, it’s still essential to go back to more old-fashioned ways, in which communication is still key.
Social media can be quite a handful, but it is still one of the most popular and well-known marketing methods, and you should take full advantage of that. And using the tricks mentioned above, you can definitely develop a marketing strategy that will get you more followers, leads, and eventually customers.
Once you establish a secure customer base on social media, your business will also experience a rise in ROI and brand recognition.
And remember, although social media can be used with an agenda in mind, it is still a method in which we communicate efficiently. But this time around, the communication is done in a faster and more creative way. In the end, social media is about connecting people, even if it is through a screen.