Over 2 billion people have an active social media account. The channels where you engage with your customers have changed.
You still need a phone number and a website but the rise of social media has created so many more platforms where you can engage with customers.
With the boom of chat tools like WhatsApp, messenger and, iMessage you need to ask yourself :
“Is social media a useful channel to engage with my customer or is it a waste of time? Can my business survive without social media? "
Potential customers want to have many options when it comes to contacting you. Some people you know probably live their lives through it and others detest it.
Whatever your view on its uses and prevalence in today’s interconnected society there are undeniable upsides to its implementation as a business tool.
Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram have grown beyond simple notice boards for what your friends and acquaintances (read customers and potential customers) are up to.
They are now communities of people that use the internet to engage with each other, to share things they think are funny and keep in touch. These are the sorts of things TV and radio advertising dreams of achieving.
Social media affords a business the chance to provide their followers with a stream of information relevant to their business that also keeps them entertained. This encourages your followers (again, read customers and potential customers) to share that information with others and spread the awareness of your product.
As mentioned above, TV and radio marketing’s main method is to put the product out there, yell about how fantastic it is and hope a small percentage of those that heard become customers.
How often when watching TV will you mute the ads, or go make a cup of tea? How many times have you seen a funny post from notorious corporate social media jokesters such as Innocent, Netflix or Old Spice and had a chuckle to yourself?
It’s important to change your mindset towards social media and how to use it to your advantage. One simple fix for this is to ask yourself whether the post you’re writing is something you would share yourself.
It’s not a case of the bigger the numbers the bigger the dollars; it’s more a case of building loyalty by creating trusting relationships. A good relationship has dialogue and communication, social media websites are platforms enabling you to get that started.
The social media websites mentioned above are some of the largest, most profitable companies in the world and they are founded on the principle of quick and easy communication with your peers. Here are a few ways we think you can use each platform and its various nuances to connect with your customers:
- Facebook - Facebook is the largest social network in the world with more than 1.23 billion of active users who communicate through Facebook messenger
Here you can post a good mix of witty and informative material. The structure of Facebook’s newsfeed enables a healthy jumble of news and jokes to be viewed quickly and easily. Lots of people use Facebook as a newsfeed so having catchy titles and pictures helps draw the eye.
- Twitter - Twitter has 328 monthly million active users and 13 million are in the UK
The more condensed format can seem restrictive at first (Twitter have just started testing 280 character tweets instead of 140 and posting links to your website twice daily is a cop out. Twitter is a great place to get your comedy chops working, find a style you like and you’ll find people respond quickly and easily to your posts.
- LinkedIn - 467 million monthly active users. The UK has the third highest number of LinkedIn users in the world.
For the marketing stalwarts amongst you, LinkedIn is the place to get serious. Professionals use this site to network and keep up with the business world. Post your success stories, product updates and current vacancies here.
- Instagram - Instagram boasts 700 million monthly active users and more than 40 billion photos have been uploaded to it so far
This can seem daunting at first but really it’s the most bare bones setup of them all. See this as a chance to capture what the essence of your business is in pictures. Yes that might sound like a terrible cliche but you’ll find that a picture is worth a thousand words. Post photos of your work so everyone can get a look at what you do day-to-day, it’s a great way to show off your successes!
Everyone has read somewhere the ‘forcibly smiling actually makes you happy’ saying. Investing more time and effort into your social media outlets might go a long way towards really engaging with your customers and encouraging them to share your story.