Right off the bat let me say that social media platforms are not for businesses or brands. Although, if you’re a personal brand you have a lot more room to manouevre on these platforms but in general it wasn’t meant for you either. There are however still ways you can make these platforms work for you but it takes time and work.
Imagine you’re at your favourite hang out spot hanging out having a good time with your friends. Out of nowhere in walks a cash for gold salesman who then proceeds to go around the entire room shouting cash fi gold, cash fi gold repeatedly for the entire evening.
You see how this could ruin what was a very good time right? You may not even want to go back to that establishment because of that experience. Well that’s kinda what you’re doing when you try to sell goods and services on social platforms and that’s why these platforms are not friendly to brands, you’re chasing away their users.In fact some platforms like Facebook actively discourages business by constantly changing their algorithms to disrupt these activities. Mark Zuckerberg insists that Facebook is a social networking site that is intended for ‘meaningful social interactions’, which means the algorithm prefers user generated content over ‘public content’.
So, how then can businesses and personal brands overcome algorithm challenges to reach their target audience and make an impact?
Well for one don’t be the cash for gold guy on social media, it’s really not the place for direct sales. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t actively market your goods and services, you just have to be subtle about it. In fact, your social media platforms are really great sales & lead generation funnels that can be used to attract and direct traffic to your website where you can aggressively sell anything you want.
Building Loyal Communities & Providing Value
As a business your core social media activity should be centred around community building and creating valuable content that your community will want to engage with and share. But why is community building so important? Because the two most important components of social media platforms are people (social) and the content (media). These digital platforms are specifically built to facilitate social communication and engagement between communities of people who share a mutual desire to connect, exchange ideas and share information.
As a brand you have the ability to attract, connect with or ultimately cultivate your own community centred around a common message or idea that your brand represents as well as the value your provide in the form of relateable and useful content. In exchange the community will not only loyally patronize your business but more importantly will happily recommend your brand to others.
Humanize & Personalize your Brand or Business
This organic exchange is very valuable to your brand because people, trust people, not companies. In an age of increasing digital connectivity this also extends to the people they think they know online. Social media platforms offers brands a unique opportunity to humanize their businesses and your community plays a major role in that. You want people to see you as a member of their community or to feel as if they are a part of yours and not just as another company hawking wares.
Extension of Your Customer Service Aparatus
As part of your customer service apparaturs you can even create communities where new and existing customers can go to get information or voice concerns and upsets. The beauty about it is that overtime you’ll have other members of the community answering questions and directing traffic ony our behalf. This is a great way to boost customer retention, generating new customers and for customer referrals.
“The emergence of social media has given consumers a whole new way to interact with the brands they love — and a forum to complain when brands disappoint. But what many companies have learned is just how powerful connecting one-on-one with customers can be when those consumers take the time to post.” – Digital Marketing Institute
The whole point is brands should be putting a lot more thought and effort into their approach to these platforms. Success in digital spaces requires a comprehensive strategy that explores all the relevant factors to determine the best path to for digital success.