Sink or Swim: Surviving Social Media
Its pretty apparent that social media is the “it” thing of our time, this rapidly growing phenomenon has become a must-have for marketing. Although I’m sure we can all agree that companies & brands can use social media to their advantage there is a grey area of why and how?
Disclaimer: Social Media is not rocket science, nor do we believe we know it all…this is just a tid-bit of knowledge to kick start building your online presence! Happy Reading, Tweeting and Reposting!
Why is Social Media so Important?
Aside from the face that Facebook has 845 million active monthly users and Twitter has 100 million active users (which is only ½ of the registered accounts) it is highly accessible and scalable. Social media has a profound effect on the way information is diffused and has become the way people discover, socialize, and share with one another.
Having a website is no longer enough in this day-in-age, because consumers want to engage, whether its with their friends or the brands that sell their favorite product having the ability to be a part of the dialogue is the incentive.
Social media is about relationships, from friends, to companies to causes humans enjoy having the ability to build upon those relationships though sharing. For a business having an accurate referral from a fan can not only gain you more followers but also increase credibility.
Like I said navigating the world of social media is not rocket science but it is crucial for businesses to have a strategy when taking on the beast of online marketing, especially when it involves direct contact with end-consumers.
I could go on for days about this topic but to spare you some precious moments I will sum this up in a few Do’s and Don’ts to lay the groundwork.
- Jump in without a plan: Would you do this with any other aspect of your business? Probably not, just because social media is “free” does not mean trail and error is the best method for approaching this technological giant!
- Invest all of your energy into one social media platform: When Facebook emerged no one knew how incredibly successful it would become, however in a quickly changing market of social media outlets it is wise to spread your efforts among a variety of platforms.
- Spam your followers: Users are on social media to engage with their friends, share common interests etc. they are often receptive to interaction with brands they are fond of in a personal way, impersonal accounts that just spam followers with information they didn’t solicit is a quick way to get blocked.
- Over Control the Message: A company’s fan page or account is a sounding board to initiate conversation between the consumer and your company voice. Word of mouth can be a money maker or a deal breaker for a companies reputation, the reason site like Yelp have been so successful is it is authentic in nature by leaving the good, bad and ugly comments about a company to show that the consumers opinion matters. That being said when engaging with fans it is vital you remain genuine and real, deleting negative feedback is a common mistake and one that will degenerate your level of credibility.
-Get to know your Audience: Once you establish who you are targeting, do your research, find out what they like, when they interact, how the like to receive information. Knowing your audience is key!
-Realize Gaining Followers is not instantaneous: There is no magic wand when it comes to gaining fans on social media platforms, the best way to grow your following (and keep them) is to do it organically.
-Participate: Engage your fans and in turn interact with them, posting videos, pictures and questions is a great way allow fans to feel a connection with your brand. As much as your enjoy their feedback they enjoy yours, respond to as much as possible, let your fans know all feedback is appreciated.
-Cross Promote: Take advantage of your entire presence online, ad links to your twitter on your facebook and vice-versa. Add icons to link to your social media outlets on your website and email signature.
These are just a few of the many ways you can build a reputable presence online for your brand, I feel very passionately about this and cannot wait to share more with you…Stay Tuned!
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