In this digital age, it has become essential for brands to keep up with their consumers through the use of technology like Social Media. But how do you use it effectively, to engage, rather than to bore? The trick is to be interactive with your user base and build real relationships. That’s the direct route toward brand advocacy, brand loyalty and repeat purchase.
Social media is a great way of gaining feedback on your products and services and seeing what ideas are popular and trending, think of it like a huge focus group. Brands can use the feedback they receive – good or bad – to help them make improvements. And although hard to measure this “big data” that social media produces, it does give brands useful insight into the behaviour of its customers, which is very helpful when creating digital content.
The most successful brands on social media are those who can form lasting relationships with their consumer, and treat each individual as an individual – it is very easy to read like your social media account is actually an automated robot! Engagement with your followers encourages the formation of relationships, which leads to brand loyalty and brand advocacy. Loyal consumers will likely do lots of leg work for you, including sharing your content which raises your brand’s awareness on a very large scale in a minimal amount of time. Of course your content still needs to have some substance and be relevant and of use to your followers!
Successful use of social media allows you to fix your reputation in the event of a mishap. Tackling the issue head on, without trying to shy away from it or argue with the consumer will again bolster relationship, gaining the respect and trust of the consumer, as they will judge you more upon how you deal with the problem, rather than the problem itself! Interacting with the customer when they have an issue shows you that the brand cares.
Another very useful advantage and opportunity of using Social Media is that your followers are following you for a reason! They are your loyal customers and your target market, which makes your social media account an essential tool for aiming marketing promotions at the right audience. They know if they post or share content their audience will be interested and will view and engage with the content.
Twitter through its use of hastags allows content to trend, go viral and reach an unimaginably-big audience with ease. Starting up a successful hashtag and getting it shared and retweeted is an incomparable way of getting media viral.
I found the following article useful whilst researching this topic: https://econsultancy.com/blog/8995-social-media-engagement-is-the-top-priority-for-digital-marketers/
This article discusses the link between good original digital content, brand satisfaction and brand engagement.
I also found this article interesting: http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2014/dec/02/tips-marketers-social-media-increase-engagement
It discusses the tendencies of some brands to merely continue broadcasting traditional-type media through their social media accounts which involves no interaction. It also tell us to focus on our audience not our platform ultimately, if you can form relationships the medium should not matter.