This St. Valentine’s weekend all newsletters, podcasts, posts and updates are full of advice on man – woman relationships. We would like to talk about a relationship between Social Media and your brand , a website and its audience, a company and its customers, a social media channel and its followers. This is also love, and it is also hard to find.
First, you determine whether there’s a mutual attraction, then you go about building a relationship based on shared interests and values. Whether it’s a platonic relationship or a romantic one that you’re pursuing, it’s based on respect and trust.
In 2015 these relationships are built with information. Building them requires a firm grasp of your buying cycle and ideal customers, an understanding of the power of quality content, and the acknowledgement that, as a marketer, you are not in control. The customer is. So what steps you as a marketer need to take in order to go all the way through a relationship cycle: Attraction – Love – Engagement.
Build Brand Awareness
Even with all the changes in social media, driving awareness is still the #1 goal of most social media marketers. The potential reach is vast, although the push toward pay to play is challenging many brands.
• Keep your social network profiles up to date. Many prospects will never visit your website. This is your chance to make a great first impression and communicate important information.
• Include images and links in your posts.
• Respond to anyone who Likes, comments or shares your posts.
• Use plenty of relevant keywords in your descriptors and tags.
• Ask for feedback and remind about it often. Post open-ended questions on blog articles and social posts, and incorporate social polls on your website.
• Share user-generated and third-party content. Highlight your community and encourage them to be a part of your brand story.
• Choose the right time to post on your Social Media channels. That is when your brand can get the highest engagement, Click-through rate (CTR), the most Likes and Shares.
• Use a natural, noncorporate tone. In addition to straightforward product updates, you may want to share office and staff photos, fun company events or internal contests. links to industry or market events
Emotional content is indispensable at this stage. Triggering emotion gets you noticed because in the human psyche emotion is the signal that says: “Pay attention, this is important!” Our brains are wired to pay attention to emotion and new or unusual things. Besides getting attention, emotions are how we connect. We don’t care about something—whether a person or problem—unless we make that emotional connection.
Many people keep up with brand pages to stay on top of an entire industry or product category. Make sure that the content you share is truly relevant and valuable. Where appropriate, you should also use industry- or topic-specific hashtags to surface your content to the right audience.
And the best way to grow brand awareness is to amplify customer feedback and success stories.
People are more likely to believe authentic customer feedback than what companies say themselves.
Personal input gets more people engaged and encourages them to share your brand with their friends and followers. When people like or comment on your posts, favorite or retweet your tweets, or engage by other means, their network may also be exposed to your message.
Drive Engagement & Participation
Today’s social users want to build meaningful relationships.
• Incorporate social sharing buttons on all webpages.
• Always ask for feedback, comments, and especially success stories. Amplify great stories across relevant channels.
• Get personal. If your content marketing is for everybody, it’s for nobody. Know who’s the audience for your blog, newsletter, podcast etc.
• Include relevant hashtags so your audience can follow the conversation and participate. Consider how you might capitalize on your owned hashtags as well as trending hashtags to engage new audiences.
• Activate your audience with sample social posts to support your events or campaigns. Create interactive social experiences like quizzes, polls, votes, or photo contests.
• When possible, offer rewards for participation, such as coupons, discounts or giveaways.
Generate Social Conversions & Sales Leads
Meet customers where they are. Regardless of the form that your content takes, it will need to account for the fact that potential customers are in different stages of the revenue cycle.
• Drive your audience to your conversion points in multiple places across your social channels. Always work to capture additional information about people engaging with your brand on social.
• Include calls to action on all shared content — whether it’s a link to more great content, a request to share the content socially, or an offer to get in touch.
• Scan Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for mentions of your brand, your product/service, or the competition. Answer questions directly and offer to share more information when appropriate.
• Monitor Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, and YouTube for media tagged with your products or service. Respond when appropriate with an offer to talk or provide more information.
• Incorporate contact forms and social sharing functionality on all landing pages.
• Include an email subscription form on your blog.
• Offer incentives (discounts, unique content, etc.) for providing contact information or sharing your brand’s messages.
Read more about 6 Creative Ways to Distribute Content and Get Noticed
Deliver Perfect Customer Service
Immediacy and personal connection make social media a perfect fit for troubleshooting, and customers expect the public help.
• Establish Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for response times, total number of customer service items your brand will respond to, etc. And make sure you have the technology, resources, and processes in place to meet those agreements.
• Decide whether to create separate customer care profiles on certain social channels or to deliver care from your primary brand account. of care to be provided.
• Introduce your team and their areas of expertise. Then let your customers know when and how you’re available to address their questions, comments, and concerns. Add photos of your team members to the social channel pages.
• Connect your audience with education and support resources, such as knowledge bases, tutorials, repair information, etc.
• Be proactive about common problems or any issues that come up. However, if conversations require sharing private or otherwise sensitive information, take them offline.
Because you can learn so much about customers based on their social interactions, you can use customer-service initiatives to relate more closely with your audience and cultivate brand evangelists. Show your appreciation for a customer’s patience with an incentive or other reward. Always reward and celebrate loyal fans and followers who comment when they know the answer.
Follow these guidelines to establish trusted relationship with your customers that will last for a long time.
What do you do to cement the relationship and convert prospects to leads? Please share with us in the comments below.
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