How Social Media Marketing Raises Brand Awareness is Amazing
Have you ever wondered about social media marketing’s effectiveness? Many businesses dive hard into social media. Their obvious hope is to increase brand awareness and convince more people to become customers. Often they are disappointed if when it doesn’t produce quick results.
In this post I’m going to share five ways to adjust your social media tactics. You want your social media efforts to improve your brand’s influence on consumer purchasing decisions.
You Need to Change Social Conversations About Your Brand
According to a recent Gallup poll, despite many Americans use social media, only 5% say those platforms have a great deal of influence on their purchasing decisions. And 62% say social media has no influence at all! Why doesn’t social media have more influence?
Today, businesses think that just using social media will influence or change the way consumers think about their brand. What’s the toughest lesson you have to learn? It’s that you have to use social media channels the same way consumers use them.
Consumers use social media to initiate conversations and to make connections. Research shows that we use social media primarily to connect our family and friends. Social media also helps us follow trends and find product reviews or information. People also comment on what they like and review products they love.
Consumers have matured and become more skeptical of businesses. They’re also more cautious with their own spending. Because of this change it’s unlikely that businesses can influence consumers’ purchasing behavior by simply talking about themselves and their products on Facebook.
You have to motivate your social media audience by telling your story. To convert your audience into customers you have to change the conversation. You have to engage your audience and inspire them to advocate on your behalf.
The good news is that if social media users feel that your messages and intentions are sincere, they will engage with you. However, if they suspect that you are just marketing to them it’s game over. They’ll hide your content or even block you from their feeds.
You can’t make social media into something it isn’t. Social media is not about driving sales or influencing consumers’ buying decisions. You’ll be disappointed if that is what you try to do. Social media marketing is all about making emotional connections by building positive customer experiences, providing exceptional service and authentic conversations that are engaging.
You Need to Know How to Appeal to Millennials
The previously mentioned Gallup also shows that Millennials in particular aren’t easily influenced by social media. Millennials are a key social media audience, but you have to approach them differently. While only 7% of millennials say that social media influences them a great deal, 48% say social media doesn’t influence them at all.
Millennials are the group that’s swayed the least by social media marketing. If you want to influence Millennials, you have to understand how they process information. Then you have to deliver a marketing message that appeals to them.
Millennials are very connected and are not going to consume content on just one platform or device. Though they love honest and authentic marketing, they want to control the conversation. They don’t care what the opinions are of those outside their social group. But they are super-interested in what their friends think.
You can win the trust of Millennials by creating mobile-friendly content that fits their needs and preferences. Never waste their time with generic messages. If you don’t understand what millennials want, just ask them.
You can build trust with Millennials by showing there is synergy between policy and practice. If your company’s Twitter bio says you follow everyone who follows you, be sure to do exactly that. If you have a problem with your product or service, publicly apologize on your social networks.
It’s Important to Engage Your Customers Offline and Online
You have to understand that social media doesn’t function in a vacuum. To truly influence consumers, they must be engaged by you both online and offline. Studies consistently show that customer engagement depends largely on how well an organization aligns all of its touch points.
A great example of how this is achieved is Dr. Pepper. Dr. Pepper engages with their audience both online and offline. In the USA, Dr. Pepper encourages customers to create their own branded t-shirts to help them join their promotional campaigns. It’s all about customers engaging and becoming part of the fun. Doing this they are turning customers into brand advocates through online offerings that translate offline.
It may be easier for some industries to leverage both offline and online customer engagement, you have to understand your brand’s emotional connection with consumers. Then you have to act on it. If you don’t know what the emotional connection is, it’s best to just ask your audience. Let them explain how they feel that they connect to your brand.
You Have to Begin Authentic Facebook Conversations
For consumers social media is highly personal for consumers. On Facebook consumers want to interact with other people, not not just with the brands. Consumers are more likely to respond to companies that are personable and genuine. The best way for you to open up a dialogue is by asking questions.
Here’s an great example of how ADT uses their Facebook page to have a conversation with consumers, not at them. Instead of pitching their security system, ADT offers travel safety tips to Facebook users.
Notice how this post focuses on a personal issue, and is close to home for homeowners. ADT offers helpful information instead of pushing their product. Businesses need to learn the lesson here. They need to back off from hard sell marketing tactics and instead focus on establishing an open dialogue with consumers.
For the First Time Consumers Expect 24/7 Availability
Because social media is 24/7, consumers have come to expect immediate responses from brands. Even on nights and weekends.
Research shows that 42% of consumers who complain on social media expect a response within 60 minutes. On top of that a further, 57% expect the same response time at night and on weekends. And it doesn’t matter even if it’s not during normal business hours.
Are you ready to handle those expectations? It’s important to address customer concerns quickly.
You can scale your customer service using social media. For example, while one customer service agent is talking to a customer on the phone, another agent can respond to several inquiries using social media.
One option you might try to help you to be more responsive. You could launch an online community to enable customers to help each other. Within your community, you’ll likely find some members who are more engaged and helpful than others.
You know the ones I mean. The ones who consistently go the extra mile to help other customers solve their problems. Create an advocacy program to reward and retain these helpful people.
You van also help customers help themselves. Offer how-to articles on your blog or website. Make the information easy to find with links on your social profiles and other marketing materials. If customers can solve a problem themselves, it reduces the need to pick up the phone or tweet a reply.
Finally, you’re probably already monitoring social mentions. Continue to do that, because you can learn so much from what others are saying about you. Your customers can be a key source of information when your product is having issues. Listen for negative feedback and reply accordingly and quickly.
Following These Steps Will Make You More Engaging
Even if you’ve only been using social media marketing for a short period of time. You’ve likely realized that consumers are good at tuning out brand-related content on Facebook and Twitter. You know that social media by itself could never motivate a fan or follower to recommend your brand to others, let alone buy your products.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t change the conversation. Concentrate on what social media audiences want instead of what you want. You’ll likely find more success by catering to customers’ expectations and habits.
What do you think? Have you used any of these tactics to influence consumers through social media? What was your experience? Please share in the comment box below.