Social Media Management Talking With, Not To, Your Audience
- By: Cai7Aith0Oo
Far from being the one-way communication model of advertising, marketing has evolved through social media into being a conversation with consumers.
These conversations break the mold of marketing strategies that focus completely on the product, brand or company. Social media creates interaction in which customers, clients and audiences take an active role. It has become possible (and imperative) to engage the target audience in a meaningful way. And that means providing content that is meaningful to them. It has been said before, but it bears repeating: Content is king.
Too often, businesses still market by talking at the consumer, and in a highly competitive social media arena in which consumers select the messages they receive, that is a great way to fail.
In order to engage your audience listen and learn.
As many public relations professionals will tell you, social media sites are a great listening tool. Listening is an important part of any conversation, and it is no less so in the social media world. Pay attention to what your ‘friends’ are posting and your ‘followers’ are tweeting. A business that knows the cares, concerns, attitudes and opinions of its target audience is a business that is poised to create a strategy that will appeal to and engage the consumer.
And strategy there must be. There is no way to get the results you want if you don’t know what results you want.
What are you trying to communicate? What are you providing? How is your communication useful to the consumer? And, what’s in it for you (what is the objective)? Is the business educating the target audience about services, or is the goal building or maintaining the brand or image? Comcast uses a Twitter account solely for customer service allowing convenient and quick customer access for technical support. Many companies run contests and special promotions for “friends” and “followers” which fosters brand recognition and builds loyalty. Both methods are valuable to the target as well as the business. Because the content is meaningful to the consumer, it is valuable to the producer. Goal tracking can be monitored by the numbers of people participating, the growth in followers and fans and by asking through posts and/or tweets for audience feedback. It doesn’t get much better than that.
While keeping an eye on the goals, it’s also important to keep in mind that not every post or tweet should be about you or your business. Get involved in the conversations already taking place. Build your presence by engaging with others on various topics. Make use of the retweet or share features and pass along interesting, relevant or humorous information, but keep in mind that all of your posts are a reflection of your business and impact your image, even if you aren’t the author and they’re not about your business. By posting you are advocating, supporting and condoning the content of the post. Avoid crass humor and controversial topics unless you’re willing to alienate members of your target audience.
Social media is a phenomenal tool for building brands and boosting sales, but if that is all you’re trying to do it won’t work. Writing advertising copy and pasting it to a social media site is not going to engage or appeal to your audience. Social media is a about relationships. People like doing business with people they know, so let them get to know you.
In conclusion, social media management is a huge branch that cannot be done justice to in one article but suffice it to say that sites such as facebook, twitter and instagram are three most important medium on social media as of today and have proven, in the past couple of years, that they are here to stay, especially instagram, which is arguably the most popular of the three, with many people searching online to buy premium instagram likes and followers.