Fascinated by the power of social media, many business owners tend to embrace social media as a marketing tool. They create accounts on multiple social media platforms, post latest updates of their company, keep up with cutting-edge trend of the industry and then wait for growth in their fan base. However, after several months of continuous effort, there is still no significant change. They begin to doubt the myth of social media, become frustrated, and abandon all the efforts.
This scenario often takes place when business owners try to connect themselves with potential customers online. However, they neglect that the essence of social media is “social” rather than “media”. The most significant difference between social media platform and news center is that the former build two-way conversations while the later distribute information in one way. Social media is powerful in gaining exposure and building relationship. The key is how to utilize the power correctly.
Here are some tips on how to effectively engage with your audience:
1. Have your own voice.
With the proliferation of the Internet, it is not an exaggeration to say that people are overwhelmed by information. It is meaningless to simply copy and paste news of hot topics that can be easily accessed everywhere. What matters here is useful content. People who might be interested in your business want to know more about you; for example, how you think about the changes in today’s world or where you see yourself in the industry. Your voice doesn’t have to be thought provoking, but it has to be unique to draw people’s attention.
2. Be customers-oriented.
Notice that a business social media platform is different from a personal one. When running a business, it’s always better to put your feet in your customers’ shoes. Nichole Kelly, CEO of Social Media Explorer and President of SME Digital, advocates the 80/20 rule, which is, eighty percent of the contents you share should not be about your products or business, but should align to customers’ interests. Your customers are easily prone on advertisements like social media network since they don’t want to be engaged in seller-buyer type of relationship. Thus, it is well advised that you create an inviting environment with helpful information.
3. Be responsive.
The main function of social media network is to start a conversation and keep it flowing. A conversation can’t be built up without responses and exchanges. While you engage with positive comments, it is equally important to respond to negative complaints as well. Social media is the best place to conduct this crisis management. You need to find the cause of the complaints and then explain thoroughly before negative words-of-mouth spread out. Meanwhile, speed matters also. Today people get used to instant responses via SMS. Although your audience do not expect to get instant feedback as they do via SMS, it will be a plus if you can respond them before long.