3 ways your business can get the most out of social media
Social media has permeated our society and become as much habitual aspect of our lives as the morning coffee.
The importance and potential of this communication tool is now widely recognized amongst business owners; however, its proper use is not totally understood by many companies. Here are a few pointers that should be kept in mind to get the most out of social media for your organization.
1 Quality before quantity
All too often, businesses get caught up in the attraction of quantity; usually at the sacrifice of quality. Social media is one arena where it always pays to focus on the quality of your community before the quantity of your following. Companies fixate on the wrong metrics because it is corporate nature to aim for the large numbers. However, the number of “likes” and “follows” online means nothing without social engagement. An engaged following is more likely to support your brand than a large group of people who have flippantly followed you without a care. It’s easy to understand this theory if you add a human spin to the equation. Ask yourself: is it better to have 100 acquaintances that can hardly remember your name, or is it better to have 10 close friends who will do anything to help you? The answer is easy.
2 Pull rather than push
Social media is often viewed as just another medium for sending brand messaging out to an audience in the attempt to drive them to buy a product or service. This tendency ignores the full potential of the tool and can in fact work against an organization’s goals. The vast majority of people view social media as a tool for communicating with each other, and although it is widely accepted for companies to be online as well, it is unacceptable to make a community feel as though they are being bombarded with advertisements. The key is to use unobtrusive messaging with the intention of pulling an audience into a conversation with your brand rather than trying to push them to another source such as your store. The idea is to show your following value through interesting and constructive dialogue. Once the relationship is built and you are engaging with your audience, you can work with more direct selling tactics.
3 Select the right platforms for the job
Many companies use the wrong social media platforms to effectively convey their brand online. Effective social media strategies aren’t cookie cutter; they differ depending on each organization’s needs and goals. Not all social media platforms can be used to convey the same message, this means that in order to execute the right strategy for your brand, you need to have a sound grasp on the most effective way to use each platform.
Here are some basic examples that illustrate this point:
- Pinterest is dominated by a roughly 90% female user base.
- Facebook has shifted to serve an older audience in recent years.
- Younger generations have moved away from platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in favour of Instagram and Snapchat.
- Services are better explained on LinkedIn and Facebook, while products are better showcased on Instagram and Pinterest.
In order to get the most out of social media you need to identify the platforms that are best for your brand.
Social media strategies are about the long game rather than the first two months. Companies that focus on building an engaged online community are typically positioning themselves better than those that look for a short-term burst of “likes” and “followers”. The ROI of a social media strategy is realized exponentially over time when an organization focuses on the end goal and ties their social media strategy into the larger marketing campaign. It takes an experienced and dedicated team in order to develop and execute the most effective strategy for any given organization.