No marketing strategy in 2019 is complete without including social media. To make your brand seen and heard in a meaningful way, it’s not enough to do traditional print and broadcast advertising and then call it a day. You have to go where the potential customers are, and that means social media. Social media marketing meanwhile is all about engagement. The goal is to build direct relationships between your brand and its customer base.
New media platforms for marketing mean entirely new ways of approaching marketing. It’s not going to work if you copy and paste advertising content from other media into your social media presence. It’ important to understand how the platform itself works first. In traditional media, there’s one source of content that’s transmitting that content out to a broad audience. Marketing in that context simply becomes another piece of content to be absorbed by the audience. On social media, however, there are no more passive audiences. Everyone is a potential content producer, and every audience member has the opportunity to respond directly and immediately.
“The key words now are ‘interaction’ and ‘relationship,’” says Charles Brown, a board member from the Nursing Home Abuse Center. “People need to be able to really get to know a company, almost as if it were a person.” To engage your audience and convert some of those individuals into loyal customers and supporters of the brand on social media, businesses need to adapt to the realities of the social media environment and connect to users on the same level, producing content, responding and reacting in real-time.
Just like in real-life relationships, any effective social media marketing strategy is going to be built on consistency. Users need to regularly see something from you. Whether it’s an original post or simply a comment or reaction to something else. Potential customers will disengage or lose interest if they never hear from your brand. You have to put in time and effort to build a rapport with someone and develop a presence.
That’s why social media marketing takes patience. It takes time to build up a following and establish a history of activity. You should also consider putting a schedule in place for posts to ensure that new activity is published to the platform on a regular basis. Content can be created in advance and set up to be published automatically at regular times, but you also need someone observing the feed who can respond promptly to other users and follow-up on conversations created by the content.
Develop a Personality
Through engaging, interacting and producing content, the goal is for other users to be interested enough to follow your content and continue interacting into the future. Not only is that a potential new loyal customer, but that one more regular follower will generate activity on your platform, share your information and slowly bring in more consumers to engage as well. However, no one is likely to engage and invest in a longer-term relationship with your social media presence if your presence itself is not interesting and authentic.
To build a relationship with users requires that you create a certain voice and personality for your brand online. If your brand acts like a person on social media, what kind of person is it? This personality, once established, needs to be consistent as well. This may seem daunting, but the good news is that this is a chance to have consumers really get to know your company. The first ingredient in an effective social media personality is authenticity. That means figuring out who your brand really is and what it represents. Then you need to channel that into your online presence.
Make it Worthwhile
The last piece required for a genuinely effective social media strategy is quality. Regular activity and a brand personality won’t do enough to set you apart and build a following if it’s not accompanied by high-quality content. Your voice needs to be unique and make engagement actually worthwhile for the individuals deciding to follow you and invest in a social media relationship.
The content you deliver needs to be in line with your brand and personality and deliver something for the audience. You can be entertaining and bring your audience laughter and enjoyment, or you can start meaningful conversations with insights or analyses. All that’s required is that your content be interesting and that it creates an opportunity for further engagement among users. Community is built when people come together to discuss something or enjoy something together. Providing that something should be your goal.