In today’s seriously social media savvy world, it is easy for some to feel like social media has become a little too much media and not enough social. There are those out there who will say that it is just another broadcast media outlet, that people like Tony Hsieh of Zappos no longer post fun and random tweets about party functions. However, that is not always the case. Using social media for business can be one of the best ways to build brand loyalty.
While there are some brands that have turned their social media campaigns into brand-focused marketing platforms with no social interaction, there are still those brands out there that believe you can promote your brand while also being social and interacting with your customers.
The key point to remember with social media advertising (and the biggest difference between it and television or print) is that it is a two way conversation. A brand can get their name out there on Facebook and Twitter. By the same token, however, customers can contact the brand and tell them about an experience they have had or simply ask general questions.
A company that is truly focused on being social and customer service oriented (and every company should be) will respond to posts. Most social media savvy companies have a person (or more than one) whose job is to focus on social media responses and interact with the customers. Interaction is key.
Looking at the evolution of Social media in just the last 8 years gives some insight to how powerful a tool it can be:
2006 - This is the year Myspace was the most popular networking site in the US but Facebook was gaining ground. Meanwhile, Twitter launched its micro blogging social network.
2007 - Facebook launched their beacon advertising system.
2008 - Facebook passed Myspace in the total number of monthly unique visitors. Facebook tried to purchase Twitter but did not succeed in the purchase.
2009 - Facebook was listed as the most used social networking site. Twitter gained more fame by breaking the news of a plane crashing into the Hudson River.
2010 - Google launched Buzz to compete with Facebook and Twitter.
2011 - Social media was accessed from almost anywhere in the world as well as on the go. It had already become a major part of daily life for most people. There were 550 Million users on Facebook and 65 million daily tweets sent on Twitter during 2011.
2012 - Facebook reached 1 billion users and Youtube had more than 800 million monthly users.
2013 - There were 1 billion monthly users for Youtube with over 4 billion views per day. While Facebook had 1.1 billion users and Twitter had 500 million registered users. Other formats such as Pinterest had 48.7 million users and Reddit had 69.9 million.
Social Media Continues To Grow
As you can see, the growth of social media has been substantial. However, you can see that the networks that are the most popular and successful are those that allow easy communication between users. This fact should never be forgotten by a brand that is using social media to connect with its customers.
Customers are more likely to remain loyal and to come to you in the first place if they feel comfortable with you as a company and if they feel they can trust you. One of the best ways to build a positive relationship of trust is communication.
Communication is what people want. The misconception is that social media has just become a one-way form of advertising; do not let your customers see you falling into being one of those types of companies.
While it is perfectly fine to schedule posts and inform customers of deals, always make them organic and natural. If you get customers tweeting or posting on your wall, respond as quickly as possible. The easiest and best way to look at the social media conversation is as if you were having a conversation face to face with your customers. Be open, honest, and warm with them and you will hopefully get a loyal long-term customer.
To improve on your social media marketing further, you can download our free social media checklist by clicking the link below: