For years now, marketing experts have been hyping social media as the next big thing. Many organizations treat social media like a shiny new toy: it’s different, fun to play with, and everyone seems to be actively using some form of social media.
With all this talk about social media, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype and forget the real purpose and the unique challenges that come with using this tool effectively.
It’s never been more important to make your brand stand out in the sea of digital noise. Customers can see and say more about companies than ever before, and simply having a Facebook and Instagram page or cool Tiktok videos is not enough. This is why it is important to have a strategic social media marketing plan that builds brand evangelists. Social media has become a large part of our daily lives. People choose to spend a lot of time on these platforms and want businesses to address their concerns and answer their questions.
Here are four simple approaches that can help in getting better results with social media:
1. Set objectives that can be measured:
(Hint: “I need a Facebook page” is not an objective.) Start by taking a step back and asking why you need social media. Why do you want a Facebook page in the first place? If your objective is simply to out-do the competition then something is wrong. Strong, measurable objectives – such as building awareness, loyalty and advocacy – are what you need to support an effective social media strategy.
2. Be relevant:
“Why waste a sentence saying nothing?” – Seth Godin
The easiest way to lose followers and interest is by posting messages that do not connect with your audience. Many brands also run the risk of overselling and not bringing any value or information to their audience. “Stop selling. Start helping.” – ZigZiglar
3. Stay connected:
“The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.” – Maya Angelou
Show customers, that you care by responding frequently and considerately. Having a responsive customer service presence on social media can add a human element to your brand, build trust, and improve customer satisfaction. Winters are a nightmare for people flying from Toronto. One winter morning I arrived early at the airport to catch my flight to New York only to be greeted with a message that my flight was cancelled. Fortunately, the airline put me on an earlier flight which was not full and saved me a lot of trouble. To show my appreciation I tweeted about this experience with @mention to the airline. Guess what? No acknowledgement. No response. They ignored the golden rule of PR – Amplify the positive. They missed out on a wonderful opportunity to connect. A few months later, this airline ran into trouble with the local government and had to run a brand advertisement campaign trying to rally supporters and brand advocates to speak up in their favour. Social media recognition can be a powerful tool for fostering advocacy and brand loyalty. Remember, the “social” in “social media” refers to the fact that it’s a network. A strong network of supportive customers can go a long way for any business. After all, it is called social “networking” for a reason.
4. Be professional:
We have heard stories of healthcare professionals being disciplined for ill-advised social media posts containing private patient information. One instance involved a hospital employee in the U.S. who shared her opinion that a State governor had received preferential treatment during a checkup. The employee was suspended for violating patient confidentiality. Perhaps the biggest quandary for many healthcare providers is whether to accept Facebook friend requests from patients. It becomes a challenge here to use social media to strengthen the provider-patient relationship while maintaining appropriate professional boundaries. Social media is a powerful tool in today’s marketing landscape. It allows brands to connect with customers that would have been impossible a few years ago. It is not a “one size fits all” tool. There are many different platforms, and each one is used differently.
The main takeaway? Consider social media for the long haul.
Hopefully next time you feel the urge to nervously check the retweets and likes, you can glance at this article, too.
If you want to put these tips to good use and find a marketing partner that can support your digital journey – we are ready and waiting. When it comes to this plug, we admit we have a bias and are of the opinion that The Classic Partnership is the absolute best home to grow your brand.