Imagine a place where you could market your brand without having to use a thick advertising budget. Now, imagine this place gives you the possibility to interact directly with your own customers and most of the world’s internet users.
You don’t actually have to imagine it, since most likely you already have such a place. The modern internet has brought us the wonderful gift of social media, a tool you can use at your pleasure with very few barriers.
SEO was the big thing back in the day, but social media has taken the spotlight as a serious marketing tool for most brands today. While search is still a major entry venue for most businesses seeking visitors to their sites, social media offers bona fide customer engagement. There are reasons why lots of brands are ramping up their efforts to become more active on social media, and we plan to get into a few of the major ones right now.
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Have you ever encountered a story on Facebook that just compelled you to click on it? It’s probably more likely that you will have these experiences on social media, not on a search engine results page. Search focuses on showing you something relevant to what you’re looking for. But social media focuses on exposing you to something you might find interesting.
If you’re good at coming up with titles that catch eyeballs, then social media is an engine for this kind of talent.
Following up on that last point: Unless you’re posting some viral seven-second video featuring cats, you’re not likely to get the attention of the general public. What you publish most likely won’t be shared or retweeted by people from every walk of life. But here’s the kicker: That’s actually a good thing.
Attracting people who would otherwise not be genuinely interested in what you have to offer is most often a waste of effort. You want to gather people who want to participate in your brand and enjoy it. Social media gives you the conduit to do just that. All you have to do is be active and responsive.
Want to know how many people got to your page because someone else mentioned you? How about a neatly laid-out graph showing you the top influencers in your circle? The numbers are there; you just need the right tools to gather them and display them in the most human-readable manner possible. With a social media dashboard app—particularly a third-party one—you can get all of this data and assess the way you engage your audience. You can even use it to track your competitors and see what they’re doing to grow their influence.
By having your say and spreading it around as much as possible, you don’t just build influence; you establish your brand as an authority to the community of people you have built around it. This gives way to building better brand trust, which leads to more loyal customers. On top of all of that is the ripple effect of customers recommending your brand to their friends. Most people—83 percent in fact—trust recommendations from their friends and family.
Once you get to the point where you have a loyal customer base, your brand becomes contagious. Then you’ll have to refine your message so you can build an even larger community around your niche.
Communication is perhaps the apex of being on social media. People gather from over a hundred different nations to discuss things with each other. Use this to your advantage. A brand’s page on Facebook or its Twitter handle can be a great means of engaging directly with customers. Making yourself available for messaging enhances your relationship with the people you’re marketing towards. It also gives the press an opportunity to contact you without a lot of effort—just in case they happen to be passing by. Building an active social media presence is much like hanging a giant, virtual “Yes, we’re open!” sign on your door.
All in all, if your brand is asocial, you’re depriving your business of a powerful tool. Social media presents a vast array of possibilities for marketing and expansion. Just think: Social media represents a gathering of more than a billion people around the world.
These days, being competitive is almost synonymous with being socially active and engaged.
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