Are you conversing with your target audience? Is your company visible on the new-age-television called ‘social media’? Do you have an active presence on different social networking websites? You are wondering why these questions are important and why it is vital to have ‘YES’ as an answer? Well, as social media users, in other words, potential customers, are continually increasing worldwide with each passing year, it is imperative for every organization to manage better, grow and expand through social media.
In one of the recent reports, it has been quoted that by 2019 there will be approximately 2.77 billion active users on the social media globally. There has been a notable increase in the number of users since 2017.
Now as our target audiences are online, we too need to go online to connect with new customers, make them aware of the products or services, engage them to win their loyalty and continue to interact with the existing consumers to strengthen the relations over and over again.
It is an established fact that the social media users are rising rapidly so it is mandatory to be active on social media for business growth but it is like an unsolved puzzle that is time and capital intensive! Amid the mandatory presence and mix-up on expected outcomes on social media, in this post, we discuss 5 path-breaking rules to leverage social media to its core potential for business growth.
1. Staying Visible
Social media is a free set up and user-friendly but is highly erratic! It demands regular updates and posts. It is must interact with the target customers on a regular basis so that the brand or company product/service stays alive in their mind always and influences their purchasing decisions.
Further, if the target audience is not engaged in the meaningful conversations then irrespective of any ambitious marketing plan/contest/campaign the end goal shall be defeated! Thereby to make most of the social media the first path-breaking rule is to ‘stay visible’ on social media. To do so there are few factors that must be considered –
a) Build a Social Profile –
It can be done by having a good photograph/logo and brief about organization/individual on different social networking websites. It is required because when having an online conversation, the audience can feel connected after reading some basic professional information. The social profile is just like a visiting card, therefore must be crafted creatively to impress the online audience.
b) Well Defined Plan –
The organizations must work out a well-defined plan to develop and post the content on different social media platforms. The posts must be directed to get the attention of the target audience, relevant to the industry and cover-up the social media in a balanced way.
Posting content in a balanced way implies posting the content on Q&A forums, blogs, newsletters, online communities discussions etc along with posts on social networking websites namely Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and so on. The frequency of posts, type of the content, tags, etc should also be mentioned in the plan. Lastly, the plan should be well implemented to attain the desired results.
Staying visible is like a systematic investment plan that would bring in leads and sales in due course of time. It requires treasured staff resources to stay visible on social media, nevertheless the efforts must be invested because the organization has to be where the target audience is, surely it shall benefit the organization in years to come.
2. Talking and Listening
To attain growth through social media ensure to speak and listen as well as listen and talk, after all, it is the platform where human beings are interacting and conversing with each other. One word to sum it up is ‘engage.’ To engage the audience, the interactions must be genuine and meaningful. To do so invest time to post comments, reply to the people who ‘mentioned you’ in the comments, like or share the posts of other people.
Observe the responses of the target audience and engage them accordingly through ‘Mention’, ‘Retweet’ or ‘Comment’. It must be a daily activity or in regular intervals. It would not only help to connect with the masses but also develop long-term relations with people over time. If we don’t give people our time of the day, we can’t expect them to do the same for us! Invest time on social media today and reap the benefits/profits tomorrow.
Another way to get mass attention is to follow influencer and high-profile accounts in sync to the industry one belongs to. In this way, it would be possible to initiate the conversation with their followers and build up the network of potential customers.
3. Creating Value
The third path-breaking rule to leverage social media is to create value through content. It goes unsaid that the content should be created having a perfect blend of text, audio, images, and videos. Infographics are the only way out to grab the attention of online target audience. Next, the content must leave a lasting impression on the viewer and create some value so that it persuades the user to like it and share it. Thus, while developing content consider some crucial points-
a) Provide solution –
Time is money! The followers and target audiences read the posts to look out for some solution. It is possible to provide the solution only when it is known as what kind of information the target audience is seeking, therefore, understand the target audience well, identify their pain points and address them directly with the suitable content.
b) Be original –
The online audience is observant and intelligent, therefore ‘cut, copy and paste’ of old content in a new look is not appreciated so ensure to be original! Let the content be short and simple but meaningful and creative. Regular posts and updates are a ‘must’ but at the same time quality should always supersede the quantity.
c) Be Edifying –
Think beyond the offers! Bring the awareness about some social cause, create awareness and drive the attention to resolve the existing problem. Let the content extend some learning instead of being product or service promotional or self-serving. Selling at every bend and turn would put off the mood of the people and they might un-follow therefore aim to trigger the thinking process of the viewer or address something related to real life.
4. Skilled Workforce
Social media has certainly brought the world closer, but to attain the best of its benefits the work involved is huge. No more it can be driven by ‘one-man army’! It requires specialized skills of content writers, graphic designers, and strategists. It requires well planned and well-implemented teamwork.
Technology and tools indeed enable to manage the social accounts, yet it needs a skilled workforce to leverage the social media to best of its advantage because interactions are going on with the humans and not robots!
Organizations from diverse industries are having an active presence on social media and to leverage the same to the core many companies have started to include social media knowledge as an imperious job skill similar to basic computer literacy and Internet. In addition, the existing employees are given the foundation on social media as well as some training programs are conducted to upgrade their skills. Lastly, in universities slowly the curriculum is revised to include social media coursework in all major disciplines while in detail in marketing and communications degrees programs.
With these initiatives surely in coming months, the social media skilled workforce gap will be filled in, to reach new and existing customers, engage them and boost overall revenues and coverage.
5. Social Recommendation
Word-of-Mouth recommendation is invaluable because it comes from the existing-users hence new-users can trust the organization and proceed with the buying decision. It indeed is the most critical way out for enhancing the conversion rates and increasing the traffic on websites/online stores.
Reviews, trust seals, testimonials are a few examples of social recommendations. As per the reports, social recommendations influence 70% of consumers’ buying decision. It is a priceless asset to the company hence efforts should be taken to collect the same. Social media is quite resourceful in gaining social recommendations.
Tools such as EmbedSocial helps in building social recommendations as it prompts users to share their experience and thoughts in the form of reviews, feedback, and ratings. The tool verifies the social profile of the user and then accepts their comments. These social recommendations can then be published on different platforms to improve the organization’s credibility.
Lastly, after receiving the recommendation ensure to respond back to the customer with a suitable response and personalized note so that they feel gratified. Social recommendations boost the brand value that is beyond the monetary power, therefore, work towards it!
Social media has evolved extremely well over the years and has powered the connectivity enormously. It plays a significant role in the growth and expansion of business operations. Thereby shift the focus of marketing efforts towards social selling and invest resources on conversational marketing. Consumers across the globe have warmly accepted social media as a new mode of communication.
Double the prospects of progress by leveraging it through these five path-breaking rules namely maintain active profiles on social media, identify and converse with the target audience, offer helpful advice to the audience and strengthen relationships, hire the people with precise skills and talents while lastly build the trust and collect the social recommendations. Indeed, it would give the desired results. All the Best!
About The Author: Neel Sinha is the creator of MyLnk. The innovative link shortener and URL management solution. He is also the Founder & Principal Consultant at NFaktor and creator of the popular Comic Strip “Norman Liker.” IIM alumni, and an engineer with around 25 years of successful professional career. Neel has traveled across the globe in sales and leadership roles. He is leading the product innovation, sales, and building some great teams worldwide.
Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/media-social-media-apps-998990/