Social media has created opportunities for people to talk to each other and offer their feedback on organisations, companies and their messaging.
“The big thing about social media and business is the interaction between them – the conversation has changed dramatically with the rise of social media,” says Creative Bundy founder and marketer Jacqui Bundy.
If business’ fail to engage in those conversations, they’re missing out on an opportunity to find out what the consumer thinks about their brand, and the opportunity to connect with consumers to address any issues that exist.
What online platform suits your brand?
Building loyal communities and gaining followers occurs when you have a strategy that sits well with well thought-out business objectives, advises Bundy.
If you’re dealing with a consumer focused product or service, then Facebook is suitable, whereas if you’re dealing with externally oriented services, lean towards LinkedIn and Twitter to suit your objectives, says Bundy.
“I think Twitter is greatly misunderstood and can be incredibly powerful. It provides opportunities to present your brand or an individual as an expert within that area because of the information you’re putting out,” says Bundy.
“It appears to be a social media of choice amongst journalists, which is great if you want people of influence to tune in and get talking.”
Traditional sales tactics are null
These days it’s customers who expect companies to be listening to what it is that they want – business has become marketing focused rather than sales focused. Sales are all about pushing that product or service onto someone, as opposed to marketing which involves finding out what it is the customer wants and going back and creating that very desire, says Bundy.
An effective marketing strategy will help you define the overall direction for your marketing. Your strategy should articulate how you are going to deliver your products or services in ways that will please your target market.
Listen and share with social media
A business needs to engage on social media where communities of people are listening in, so customers can pass on their (hopefully) positive experience with your brand. Social is at its best when you see reviews, recommendations, forums or feedback on social media platforms. Public opinions have enormous potential to sway and influence others.
Customer testimonials can do wonders for your conversion rate, so businesses need to be focused on sharing opinions and information, says Bundy
“Sales speak doesn’t work. There is generally an understanding that if you’re looking for advice on what you’re going to spend your money on, you’ll trust someone who is close to you in your community. This starts with friends and family and then extends out to peers and people you identify as part of your community.
“Be honest with your engagement. Don’t pretend to be what you’re not. Be focused on the giving, and not on what you get.”
This can be as simple as showing some of the behind-the-scenes facets of your typical work day, or sharing your personal struggles as an entrepreneur.