Social media isn’t new, it has been around a few years already and literally everyone already interacted with it in one way or another. Years ago, businesses were suspicious why they should invest money into a Social Media Manager instead of using the 15 year old nephew that “knows how to do Facebook”.
Nowadays, for most people that lead a business, the question isn’t if they should use social media, but how and why they should use it. Wait, didn’t I just write, that they know they should use it, but they don’t know why? Exactly that is, what I’ve heard from a friend recently.
He’s running a business, and it’s not even a small one. So he came to me and asked me:
Jonas, I do know we should be on Social Media with our company, but I’ve got absolutely no idea why we should be on it and how we should use it and we just recently lost our Social Media Manager and now the board of directors is questioning whether we should re-hire one or not.
So I sat done and gave him a speech about the topic, but I found it’d be a good idea if I’d write it down more structured.
Brand awareness in the internet is easy to get and can be translated into “reach”, which can (and should be) one of your social media KPI’s to help the Managers & Directors understand how effective your efforts and their investment are. “Brand” is a word that we hear quite often but even more often people aren’t sure what exactly it means. David Ogilvy, the maybe most famous marketer of all time once said, that “The intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it’s advertised.” is defining a brand.
And do you know what? Social Media is a part of that! How your profile is set up, is the packaging in the digital era. The history is your timeline and the reputation are the reviews, followers, likes and shares that your receive on posts.
Another definition that I find important, was introduced by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. He said that “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” The good thing about this? On Social Media, people might not tag you all the time when speaking about your brand, but as long as it’s public (like most Tweets for example), you’ll be able to find and work with it.
2. Know your audience
When was it ever this easy before to get to know your audience? Facebook Insights, Google Analytics & many other tools provide you with detailed demographic information, what gender your audience is and what languages they speak. This information will help you deliver campaigns specifically targeted for your audience and / or potential audience to foster strong relationships, brand awareness & recognition.
3. Timely Feedback
Social Media is not only the era of duck faces, selfie sticks, smartphones and sex scandals. It’s also the time of instant customer feedback. For example, you launch a new product and decide to share / promote it on social media, then you’ll instantly learn what your customers think about it. People will share their love, hate, concerns, problems, just everything. And you know the best thing about it? They do it for free! You’ll be able to learn what they think and how they use your product. Maybe they use it in a completely different way than you originally imagined and now you’ve gained the insights to change your product into the direction your audience wants it to go. (That will also ensure long time customer relationships and happy customers that’ll refer you to their friends.)
Trust is a big word, but it’s 2016 and there are so many ways to authenticate a brand. But what if your customers are mainly younger people? They most likely won’t wait for a TV ad that’ll assure them with trust like they do with people of an older generation. Young people will go on the internet, and search for your brand on social media. If you’re active on social media, it’ll help reassure your customers with trust and show them an easy way to contact you if anything goes wrong.
5. It improves your SEO
Did you know that one way to move up in search engines is to have links from other sites pointed to your site? Organic links (links that aren’t paid for) are great for your business, bringing in traffic and moving you up further in search engines.
6. Release the kraken of creativity!
Never before it was so easy to show customers your creative process of designing a product, behind the scenes interviews and scenes, pictures from the office or to humanize your company and move away from “the big (insert company name)” and more towards the “those are nice guys! love their products!” view. It’s the age of YouTube, Facebook, etc. to post videos, tips and tricks, customer loyalty reward programs – you name it – to create awareness and get noticed.