There’s no doubt that the advent of social media has changed how businesses talk to clients by removing barriers that previously existed between them. The effort has humanized brands, which were once viewed as faceless entities. Statistics show that 96% of social media users interact with brands if they are following them, which makes it all the more important for businesses to make a lasting impression. On Facebook alone, 8 million messages are sent back and forth between businesses and people each month.
It’s often tempting to create social media accounts (because it seems like the trendy thing to do), then sit back, churn out content on autopilot, and call it a day. But the world of social media is loud, fast paced, and constantly changing, which means being proactive and adaptable are some of the most important qualities to have. Your business may have set hours, but social media never stops. At any given second of the day, it’s easier than ever before for people from all around the world to connect with you and keep track of what your organization is doing—and vice versa.
Smart, strategic social media marketing is about more than simply selling to consumers; it’s about creating a more meaningful relationship with them. But how do you remain relevant in the long term, while at the same time standing out in a sea of competitors? Open communication is the name of the game. It goes without saying that interactions with businesses on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms have a major influence on consumers’ perception of a business.
Part of this means engaging your audience in much the same way you would socialize in real life. This is more than simply a matter of measuringlikes, follows, and comments; it’s about establishing a rapport. It means abandoning pretenses while making the experience less about you and more about them—i.e. less talking and more listening. The important point to remember is that it’s the audience that determines what kind of content you provide for them, rather than the other way around. Answering questions in a helpful way, with fast response times, makes a world of difference. Indeed, 80% of customers believe their questions or comments should be responded to within one day.
Audiences are increasingly looking for authenticity, relevance, and transparency from social media content. Social media not only allows businesses to communicate in a more in-depth and personalized manner, but also provides the opportunity to reveal new aspects of the company so that it becomes more than just another logo. Once you’ve earned their trust, followers are more likely to willingly make purchases and become loyal to a brand. And even better, when they like the experience you have offered, 71% of peoplewill probably recommend it to others.
Being aware of what your target audience is looking for, understanding their underlying motivations and thoughts, and ultimately connecting with them emotionally is the key to success in any strategy. This also means actively digging deep and researching which platforms they are most drawn to, and how your target’s demographics—especially age and gender—will affect their purchase decisions.
Of course, valuable content always reigns supreme when it comes to attracting and retaining consumers’ interest. Keeping ahead of the game and knowing what is currently trending in everything from sports to pop culture is a great way to immediately resonate with the crowd. Here are some surefire ideas to engage more actively with your audience:
- Providing feedback and helpful advice to clients or prospects
- Using brand storytelling to differentiate your business
- Applying both reactive and proactive engagement techniques
- Tagging Instagram posts with another user or location
- Including video marketing in posts to instantly personalize your brand
- Developing and maintaining a unique tone and voice
- Determining whether you want to reply to all interactions, and—if not—filtering out irrelevant interactions while prioritizing relevant ones
Amy is a copywriter at MetaMed Marketing who works closely with the copy manager to produce articles, press releases, and other writing-based tactics, as well as copy for clients’ websites.