Is your business really using the power and influence of the social media to its greatest advantage?
Do you get your fair share of likes on Facebook, or are you disappointed with the number of follows you’re mustering on Twitter? You might think that social media marketing’s all well and good, but when you look at the bigger picture you’d much rather have a ‘link’ than a ‘like’. Some seo specialists would probably agree with you and argue that building quality links is by far the best way to drive organic traffic to your website, but the truth is, so are ‘likes’ and endorsements on social media networks: they all help to spread the word about your business and build reputations.
Internet marketing is all about establishing relationships with your customers and engaging with the community to build levels of trust. Social media marketing is unique in that it not only gives you the opportunity to engage with your customers, but when done correctly, it helps ‘them’ spread the word about you and what you’re doing. So what are the best ways of using social media effectively? In this two part article we’ll look at some of the most effective strategies for improving your business likeability and increasing the appeal of your online brand image.
Listen to what your customers are saying.
It might sound obvious, but listening is a vital part of business communication. Every business likes to talk, especially about their products and services, but they also need to open their ears and listen to what people are saying about their brand. It’s how you judge the levels of satisfaction of the service you’re offering, and more importantly it highlights the areas where you might possibly try to do better. It’s important to make your customers feel valued, and the best way to do this is by not ignoring them. You may even find that by listening you’ll discover important information about how your competitors are doing and what they do differently.
Use your profile to keep you brand relevant and likeable.
Cream, they say, always rises to the top. Well Facebook is no different, although it’s probably better for your cholesterol. Only the best and most liked feeds make it to the top of the daily news feeds. As a brand, you’re competing with all your fans’ friends and other brands, so you need to make the content you provide relevant and appealing – in short, you need to make people want to like you. Now obviously this is a real marketing challenge, but it’s not insurmountable. Make your brand information engaging and entertaining and include photos and videos: don’t be afraid to mix it up, because variety is, after all, the spice of life.
Engage naturally and organically.
It’s a cliché, I know, but communication is a two-way street. Don’t just talk at people, engage with them. If that means entering discussions or conversations about your brand and what you’re up to, then do it. Don’t always follow the same formula and deliver your information in precisely the same way. Go with flow, to use another cliché: let the customers lead you occasionally. I’m not suggesting that you make it up as you go along, because that will be completely transparent, more that you take an idea from your fiends and run with it. It’s far more spontaneous and appealing.
Don’t ignore the negatives.
If customers leave comments that are far from complimentary, ignore them at your peril. Apart from the fact that you’re not engaging with them, it also looks like you’ve got something to hide. If there are negative quips made, then respond to them and sort out any potential problems. The internet is fantastic for spreading the good stuff at the speed of light, but unfortunately these same rules apply to the bad stuff too. If you ignore negative comments, then your reputation will ultimately suffer. You might feel hard done by and believe the criticism is unjustified, but leave your principle aside. Say sorry – it won’t kill you. You’ll make the customer feel valued and you may even learn some valuable lessons about how you might improve your branding and image.
Definitely don’t ignore the positives.
Positives comments are online endorsements of your brand, and as such are like gold dust. Make the most of them and thank people for what they’ve said. Public endorsements are far better than any thing your brand might be able to say. Satisfied customers spread the word and recommend you to others: always make them feel special.