Why Communication on Social Media is So Important
The importance of Social Media should not be underestimated. These channels have the potential to connect your business with millions of customers worldwide and are one of the most important areas that your digital marketing strategy needs to cover. If you’re not making full use of your social media channels, you’re missing out on one of the most influential and easily sharable forms of marketing, and will be falling behind your competition who will be making use of Social Media to create cost-effective marketing strategies that bring them measurable Return on Investment (ROI)
Here are our 5 Reasons Why Communication on Social Media will Help Your Brand.
Cost Effective Marketing – Reaching the Right People
Social Media channels act as multi-purpose hubs – you can use them for advertising, running promotions, sharing feedback and reviews, and to act as additional customer service points, just to name a few. It may be tempting to try and run your business page without a budget and just use the free services available – but this isn’t recommended. For example: an estimated 80% of small businesses use Facebook for marketing, and over three million actively use paid advertising. If you don’t have a budget in place, your page and promotions are going to fall behind these people before you’ve even begun.
Having a social media budget doesn’t mean that you pay to boost all your posts, nor does it mean that you throw your money at every campaign, hoping that something works. What makes social media cost effective is the flexibility you have to customise your promotions and choose where and how much you’re going to spend.
To make the most of your budget, you need to do your research beforehand. You need to know who your customers are, which sites they’re visiting – and when. Once you know who your audience are, and where you can reach them – then you can create content that is designed to appeal to them (whilst still remaining true to your brand vision and voice) and promote these posts.
When you get your marketing right, you’ll see an increase in visitors and conversions that get you a return on the investment you initially set aside.
Improved Brand Loyalty – Be Remembered and Recommended
The more your customers know about you, the better they can share your brand and products with others. The easiest way for most people to do this is to visit official pages on social media. A lot of people will gauge a company based on their social media presence – if they’ve not been active or posted in some time, the common assumption is that the brand is no longer trading, causing potential customers go elsewhere.
Even if you do post regularly, you need to do so in a way that works towards your company goals – your brand needs to develop a personality and a presence that customers can identify with; if you’re posting different types and tones of content all over your channels, you make it more difficult for people to remember you and recommend you.
The clearer the brand image you portray, the easier it is for people to emotionally connect with you.
Social Media also provides you with an ideal platform to cultivate Brand Champions – people who will tell others about your products and services and recommend you as their provider of choice. The more you communicate with your audience, the more you can generate conversation and a feeling of community within your brand.
Two-way communication is beneficial for your brand – you can bounce new ideas around, and get responsive feedback that will help your business grow; if customers aren’t happy, you get an opportunity to discover what the root causes are, and if they are happy – you can look at ways of taking the elements that are working, and further build on your success.
If your potential customers see your social platforms as advertising hubs that just operate to take their money, they’re not going to want to get involved with you and are unlikely to remember you when they come to their purchasing decisions.
By creating a genuine community and interacting with your customers – you are investing in them, and they will in turn, invest in you.
Quality Customer Experience and the Best Customer Relationships
Social Media is a fantastic tool for communicating with your followers, and it allows you an almost real-time connection with them. Social Media has changed the way modern customers expect their customer service needs to be addressed. Customers want to be able to contact you on whichever social network they prefer and expect to receive a timely response on the same platform.
By giving your customers an all-inclusive customer experience, that starts before they’ve made their purchase, and supports them afterwards – you’re going to keep more people interested in your product or service and have them return to you when they want to make their next purchase.
It’s also important to remember that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as friends and family, and that 91% of people regularly or occasionally read reviews. (Craig Bloem, Inc)
Your customers are going to share their experiences – they may share with their friends and family, their own social networks, or post publicly on a dedicated review site.
You should be making sure that you use these reviews to their fullest. If the customer is happy, that’s great – other people who are looking for your product and service will see this! But if you take the time to thank the customer (and not with an obvious copy-paste message), you make the customer feel more valued (and more likely to return), visiting guests will see that you value your guests (and will be more likely to buy with you), and Search Engines will have twice the amount of positive content to show in their results (doubling your chances of being seen for good reasons).
If your customer is not happy, you’ve got the opportunity to make a difference – by responding to their feedback and showing that you care, you could turn their negative experience into a positive one, and as with the positive comments – visiting guests will see that you take the time to care about individual experience, and when Search Engines index the negative review – people will also be shown what you did to make it right.
Getting involved with your customers also gives you the ability to collect User Generated Content which you can share on your social platforms. This works well because other users see that it’s come from an impartial source and is more likely to be genuine, and you are saving money by having content given to you that you’ve not needed to pay to create.
Customer Experience is one of the key differentiators that sets brands apart now – even more than product and price. Using Social Media to interact with your audience and give them an exceptional service is going to help your brand stand out and get ahead.
Enjoy Sustainable Growth of Brand Authority
Although your Brand isn’t a physical person, it needs to have a personality and a voice – something that people can relate to. Communication is key.
When your customers see you posting on social media, replying to their comments and queries, and getting involved with areas that interest them, it helps to build a positive image of your brand in their minds.
When posting on your channels, you need to be consistent (in tone and posting times), but you also need to be correct. If you’re providing information, it needs to be up to date and factually correct – otherwise people will lose trust in your brand and your product or service. With the internet being widely available, and smartphone usage being on the increase, you cannot afford to damage your reputation by making unsubstantiated claims or being caught lying – and if you’re lying, you will get caught.
Your Brand Authority hinges on customer opinion – if your brand is seen as trusted and experts in the field, your authority will grow, and your customers will trust what you have to tell them. If your brand however is seen as unreliable and frugal with the truth, existing customers will move way to more trusted brands, and potential new customers will be put off by your bad reputation.
Posting on social media allows you to regularly interact with your guests and prove that your business cares about them. You can share information and anecdotes, and promote your brand in a positive light, and as your customers grow with you and share their experiences, your brand authority and reputation will grow as a result.
Enjoy Increased Traffic from a Targeted Audience
Social media in marketing isn’t about randomly posting and trying to force projects to work. There is a wealth of data available through the analytic tools available on many of the social media platforms and making use of this information will allow you to focus your efforts on the guests who are most likely to become your customers.
Once you know who your audience are, you can adjust your content marketing strategies and marketing approach to blend the needs of your audience with the objectives of your promotions; this will see an increase in traffic to your website and social media pages from people who are genuinely interested in the product or service you have to offer.
Social Media Marketing, when done right, has many advantages both for start-up businesses and established brands. By having an optimised strategy that is flexible and regularly updated, you will increase your site traffic, improve your brand reputation and customer satisfaction, and achieve better results in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Your competition will already be increasing their social media presence and building their customer base, and the longer you leave it to take action – the further ahead they will get.
The sooner you start – the sooner you can grow your business.