If a tree falls in the middle of the forest, will anyone care? If someone is around to tweet about it, that tree could be a viral sensation. Social media gives us a constant and personal connection to the outside world. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram (just to name a few) have become the way to communicate not only in your personal life, but also in the business world. None of these networking sites are new, and you probably already have an account on most of them, but are you utilizing them to create a better brand? Don’t ignore one of the easiest ways to build brand awareness and connect with consumers on a personal level. Here are three social media rules you can rely on.
1. Understand that committing to social media for your brand means that you have to interact with consumers on a VERY personal level.
Many businesses think it’s great to utilize social media to interact with clients. But 9 times out of 10 these businesses are using automated responses and stripping away all of the intimacy that comes along with social media. Make sure you are answering questions, concerns and praises appropriately. Responding to every post with ‘Thank you for your comments, we will forward your comment to a claims representative’ probably won’t garner the best social reputation among your customers. Focus on each individual post and handle it in a way that gives the consumer satisfaction. If that means having a claims representative contact them about a bad experience or responding positively to a good experience, take advantage of the opportunity to connect with a consumer on a personal level.
People like people and will remember how you handled their online queries better than you think. Don’t let a disconnected social presence cost you business, instead let it be the light that brings more consumers to your doorstep.
2. If you only respond to complaints, you will only receive complaints.
Stay away from auto pilot. It’s easy to find large businesses with lots of concerns and complaints on their sites. When businesses ignore the opportunity to use social media platforms to spread knowledge about their products and services they really back themselves into a corner. Without great content, promotions or even product pushing posts, consumers have nothing to respond to, making complaints a not surprising staple on any feed. Complaints should of course be handled courteously and promptly to ensure customer satisfaction. But if you only respond to these complaints, other consumers will use your main feed/wall to post their complaints.
Focus on sharing helpful content from your site or even content you know your brand followers will enjoy. Shareable content and promotions will help eliminate complaint-only feeds and give your loyal customers something to work with on your platforms. Don’t get sucked into the negative, set up a separate account that handles complaints directly, that way your main feed isn’t overtaken by negative comments.
3. Solve problems for people, even if they aren’t asking you
One of the best methods for brand loyalty is to answer questions for consumers, even if the questions aren’t directed at you. If you are able to answer a question that someone is perusing for, they are more likely to keep you in the front of their mind. Social media platforms are far more than marketing tools, they are ways for you to have real interactions with potential clients. Use unanswered questions as a segue to break down privacy barriers between you and these consumers. Give them useful information, that may or may not have any impact on your business, and you can expect that person to at least explore your brand.
As you explore your place in the online market, social media is a great way to get the ball rolling. Make sure you understand what you’re getting yourself into, though. A haphazard attempt at online marketing through social media will only bury your efforts in the sand. Avoid falling flat by taking advantage of this connection with consumers through being a brand that is in tune with wants, needs and views. Connecting with the public on a more personal level will humanize your brand, creating a sense of loyalty among potential customers. Sharing helpful, useable content with your followers and answering questions just to be helpful will create a positive reputation, positioning yourself to be top of the mind.
Start utilizing your social media presence by following these three tips!
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