The Evolution of Social Media
Over the years, there have been many different Social Media channels — some have faded away from widespread use, whereas others are a regular fixture for many internet users. There are over 3 billion active Social Media users — with a new user signing up every 15 seconds. (Statusbrew)
The potential for advertising and marketing your brand is enormous — but only when you reach the right people, at the right time, in the right place, and with the right message. Your brand needs to have an effective social media strategy that considers the needs of your audience, the strengths (and weaknesses) of your product and knows how to adapt to the changes brought about by evolving consumer expectations and what the platforms themselves are doing.
Social Media Marketing is a highly effective tool for interacting with loyal customers and gaining new interest. But if you promote your business without understanding how using social media works, you will not benefit as much as you should.
Social Media Expectations Are Constantly Changing — Are You?
There are many different actions your brand can perform when using social media for business, but do you know which ones resonate with your audience — and what their expectations of a good experience are?
In a recent survey, 51% of consumers said they would unfollow brands on Social Media if they posted irritating posts — with 27% going as far as to mark/report the brand and page as spam and block them. (SmartInsights)
People are increasingly using social media for their customer service needs; they want to be able to contact you on the platform of their choice — whether through a messaging app, direct message, comment, or tweet — and expect you to answer them.
An estimated 67% of consumers now use social media networks like Twitter and Facebook to seek resolutions for issues, and nearly 70% of consumers have said that they’ve used social media on matters related to customer service on at least one occasion. (Social Media Today)
When looking at what prompted consumers to purchase, the following actions were rated as important:
- Being Responsive (48%)
- Offering Promotions (46%)
- Providing Educational Content (42%)
- Sharing Interesting Visuals (38%)
- Being Funny (36%)
- Offering Exclusive Content (35%)
- Providing Behind Scenes Content (27%)
- (Sprout Social)
Facebook recently changed its algorithm that prioritises quality content and genuine engagement to make its platform more of a community than an advertising platform. As a result, a strong customer-centric trend is growing.
Businesses that don’t evolve their marketing strategy will soon find that their social media strategy and marketing plan won’t work.
You Must Have a Strong Social Presence
Technology such as Smart Phones means people can connect to the Internet almost anywhere. It’s made sharing opinions and information much easier to access and, for businesses, more important.
Potential customers will see you before you see them, and if you’re not showcasing the best of your brand — they will go elsewhere.
56% of consumers are influenced by their friends and peers on their purchases, and 70% of Millennial Consumers are influenced by recommendations of their peers in their buying decisions. (Medium)
As a business, it’s your responsibility to find a way of balancing your channels to fit your audience’s needs and the site’s algorithms.
You need to promote your business and offer valuable, interesting, engaging content and a customer service experience that satisfies your customers.
‘There is a 92% retention among companies with a well-crafted customer service approach.’ (Aberdeen)
It is not enough to be online — you must take a proactive and reactive approach.
You need to determine who your audience are, which platforms they use — and make yourself available on these sites. In addition, you must take ownership of any reviews or information on services such as TripAdvisor, Zomato, and Google Maps.
Your Marketing Plan will influence your Social Media strategy and should work together with your Reputation Management strategy.
If you are taking a ‘set it and forget it’ approach to your Social Media strategy — then you can forget about seeing any actual results.
The only way for an optimised social media plan to work is to have one in place, maintained, and flexible enough to contend with changing customer expectations and how social media sites work.
Here’s to Your Success 🥂