An active social media presence holds many marketing benefits, however, they won’t be felt without the investment of time and energy.
At this point, most business owners have been told that they need to be present on social media, but why? What are the benefits? Like so many other things in this world, you will get out of social media exactly what you put into it. It’s not something that you can do once a month and be set. Creating content, scheduling posts and interacting with users will take time. Your accounts won’t build a following unless you spend the time posting content that can reach and attract. Likewise, once you have those followers, they won’t interact with your business’ content unless you make an effort to share engaging and interesting material. Assuming your business is willing to make this investment there are a number of benefits you stand to gain.
Define Your Brand
Keeping an active social media has become somewhat of a necessity. A business with no online presence can appear less legitimate to today’s consumers, than a competitor with an established brand. For this reason, it is in your favor to not only upkeep an active digital presence but to also use it as an opportunity to define your brand and differentiate yourself from competitors.
Establish a voice
Let customers know who you are! Some brands are particularly good at this on Twitter, however, the key is to stay true to your voice. If your company has a sense of humor let it out, but there’s no need to force it. Keeping a professional or educational message can be just as effective and attractive to users as a light-hearted or humorous tone. As seen below, Taco Bell‘s Twitter account is not afraid of being clever and funny on social media.
"I don't go to Taco Bell." And that's why you're single.
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) June 6, 2014
Create a visual identity
Much like the tone of a brand’s social media posts, the visual elements of them also play into how users view them. Creating a consistent image and “look” will help customers understand who you are. A detailed style guide will keep your efforts in line with the feel you want your profile to have. Your visual content is a chance to show rather than tell customers what your brand is.
Get to Know Your Customers
Social media is a two-way street, with the channel to share your messaging be prepared to receive just as much incoming conversation. It does, however, provide a great opportunity to interact with customers directly. Whether their feedback is positive or negative. With this interaction, you can learn about the customer base and share brand messaging.
Open communication channel
Possibly the clearest benefit of having a company on social media is that it opens the door to one on one interactions. Like it or not, followers will be eager to share their feedback about experiences and options. Take this opportunity to thank them for the feedback and for being a customer. Show your appreciation and investment in delivering a satisfactory product. Have a plan for responding to negative reviews too.
Demographic and Target Market Information
As your brand begins to establish a following, you will begin to understand who the people are that have shown interest in your products and services. Facebook’s analytics tool Insight can provide demographic data about your page’s followers. With this information, you can adjust marketing strategies and be more direct with advertising efforts. An example of this data can be seen in the image below.
Reap the Benefits of a Community
As your brand begins to establish a following, there are ways to leverage the free exposure you are getting with potential customers. Outside of keeping them updated with latest news and information about products, an established community provides a place to build a better relationship with customers. It can also help keep advertising costs low.
Promotion and Messaging
This is likely the most obvious benefit of being on social media, however, the chance to share information about your business for free is something doesn’t come often in today’s world. Promoting events or specials that your company is offering is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed, however, be sure to keep it interesting and within the brand guidelines that have been established.
Building a relationship with followers as more than just customers is a sure way to build brand loyalty. If you are able to connect with users and build a community that they are continuously opting into, they will likely develop a relationship with your brand that is more than just commerce driven. These community members are likely to then become advocates for your brand.
Cheaper Advertising and Higher Conversion Rates
If you plan on doing any advertising, having an established social media community can help keep costs low. Running ads to users who are already familiar with your brand will require fewer touchpoints (and money) to acquire clicks. These clicks are often times more likely to turn into sales also. Since users are already knowledgeable of your company, all it takes is the right offer to get them to buy.
Ultimately keeping an active social media presence for your brand shouldn’t be work. Have fun with creating content and let the REAL version of your brand out, that’s what is interesting to followers. The most difficult part should be remembering to post, which can be easily handled by scheduling posts ahead of time. If creating content becomes too time-consuming, reduce the number of platforms that you are usinIt’sIts better to have one really engaged community than none.