Social media is powering the world in ways many have never imagined. We can see new connections being formed out of seemingly thin air. Publishing content has also become exponentially simpler over the last several years, which has helped skyrocket the use of social media.
Social media is one of the most powerful branding tools available for your business, allowing word of mouth to go viral on the internet in a much bigger way. For years now, using social media for business marketing has been a hot topic, but brands are still trying to harness its power.
It’s true marketing with social media can bring remarkable success to your business. The goal of social media marketing is the same as any traditional marketing strategy, to increase sales. However, it is important to keep in mind that brand awareness is as important as ever.
If your company hasn’t learned to harness this power of the social media world yet, here’s one way it can bring success to your business: Building Trust through Relationships.
Trust equals revenue
Increasing a company's brand trust on social media is ultimately the goal of any social media community. Trust is the most crucial element of social media. It doesn't matter the size of your business. Trust is a fundamental building block of any brand. Through building trust, you’re seeking to become each client’s expert advisor for your industry.
The number one way to build trust is through the content that your followers enjoy. Companies must first build a social media dialogue that leads to this trusting relationship.
So yes, content is still king. But to be more precise, relevant, targeted and engaging content is king. It is not about fancy logos or slick copy; it's quite simply about your audience. Brands that can build a following by being genuinely interesting and posting engaging, entertaining, and relevant content create far more opportunities for themselves to sell to consumers.
Social media marketing is about consistency
Communication on social media should be consistent with your brand's core values and the way you build relationships with customers outside of the social marketplace. Consistent brands are seen as the most trusted, but only a handful of brands have a strong, consistent presence in every single platform.
Consistency doesn’t have to equal boring. It simply means you have a consistent representation of who you are, what you do and how you portray it to the world. Your tone may vary based on the audience you are engaging with but there should be a foundation of consistency for which you leverage to build relationships.
Am I posting at the most ideal times? Are my posts formatted to perfection? Do my updates have the right tone and brand personality?
Relationships are the new currency
Did you know that it takes at minimum 6-7 brand touches before someone will remember your brand (Pammarketingnut-Social Media Branding)? Every impression counts. Each brand touch with a potential new client, current customer, brand advocate or even those who know nothing about your brand is leaving behind an impression. It’s an impression that is going to be positive, neutral or negative.
People who are successfully building relationships using social media know they can't just sit back and wait for things to happen. They aren't content to just let others 'like' or follow them.
Don’t just collect followers online and ignore them. Commenting on relevant tweets, re-tweeting, tagging someone in your post, answering questions, even engaging in an email relationship with these influential personas increases brand awareness on venues you otherwise would miss out on. After all, the point of social media is to, well, be social.
Brands that have the best success use social media to form relationships with people. It's about helping people by answering their questions or jumping into a conversation. Once they know you, they'll subscribe to your blog or newsletter.
Connecting the dots
If brands can locate a person who has wide reach on social media, one message can reach a large number of people. If the message is interesting enough, those members’ messages will be read and passed on by their followers, potentially reaching thousands of people in a short time. That’s why social media has such huge potential, but only when executed strategically.
On social media, connectors are easy to find because they not only have a lot of followers, but they have a lot of interactive posts with their followers. Connectors are great people to know because they will introduce you to other people that could be valuable to your career. Build genuine relationships with the connectors in your industry and you’ll soon find yourself among the most influential conversations of your trade on social media.
Ask and you shall receive
After creating content -- whether it's a blog post, an ebook, a webinar, or a video -- it's important to promote that content through social media channels. But when you do promote that content in social media, do you cross your fingers hoping that it generates a ton of shares, and interaction?
Leave no room for luck. By far, the easiest way to build relationships and get people to engage on social media is by simply asking them to!
Want people to click on a link? Just ask them. Again, the point of social media is to be social after all.
Ask your audience to share an important post with their friends, or to leave a comment. Also, asking followers an interesting question encourages responses and generates buzz around your business accounts. This can help drive more engagement on your posts. It seems simple because it is.
For brands, having a social media presence has quickly evolved from being the intern's job to becoming a high-tech arm of the marketing department. Brand-building through social media shouldn’t be looked at as a task however, but rather as a routine we do on a daily basis.
Follow this guide and make sure to tweak and recalibrate each social channel or brand as you go along your social media journey to figure out what will work best for each case. As we all know, social media moves at hyper-speed, and therefore it’s mandatory to adjust what will improve your brand or image on a constant basis.