The Social Media Evolution: From Anonymous Updates to a Brand Building Tool
February 23, 2015
Today, a marketing strategy that doesn’t include social media is an incomplete approach to reaching and engaging with your brand’s consumers. In fact, social media plays an integral role in all aspects of communication, including advertising and public relations. As social media has evolved over the past decade, from MySpace to LinkedIn and even newer emerging platforms, the role of social media has changed immensely in terms of how both the marketer and the end user utilize the platforms for communication and engagement.
Originally, social media was simply a great way to share content to an already engaged audience. Now, platforms like Facebook and Twitter act not only as content distribution channels, but as engagement platforms, reputation management tools and more. Brands that are seeing the most success from social media are listening and interacting with their audience to craft the content readers most want to see, which leads to higher engagement rates, increased positive feedback and a higher level of satisfaction, on average, from your customers.
Is your brand fully utilizing social media to maximize its effectiveness? Here are several tactics to consider when analyzing which channels would best serve you and your audience:
- Reputation Management: Many brands are familiar with the management of their online reputation, however most view it simply as positive and negative reviews. While Facebook does allow for users to leave star ratings, more often businesses will see feedback in the form of direct messages (not visible to public) and through posts to your brand’s wall (visible to public). Managing these engagements is just as important as handling any other online reviews, and in some cases, can have a larger impact on brand reputation. Take the time to engage with customers regardless of the channels they communicate feedback through, and actively participate in the discussion. Proper engagement can mean a number of things, but can be encompassed by taking the time to respond to all comments while always maintaining your brand’s voice. This process doesn’t have to be extremely time consuming, and can be accomplished by setting aside 1-2 half-hour blocks per week to check the brand pages across your networks and responding to any new messages or comments. This process builds trust with your consumer base, as it puts them on an even ground with your brand when it comes to communication.
- Content, Engagement & Reach: The core of follower building and fostering engagement on social platforms is the active creation of relevant and engaging content. While paid methods will always be an effective tactic, the followers that matter most will engage organically, often in response to the content you share. Every platform is different and requires various levels of frequency and timeliness of content & engagement to maximize effectiveness. Finding the right mix for your followers will be the key to getting the most out of your owned/created content.
- Exist Nationally, Engage Locally: Maintaining a local approach to social, even for the nation’s largest brands, is vital in terms of fostering engagement and starting a conversation. Serving locally-focused content to your audience builds brand affinity, as well as helps to serve customers the right messaging at the right time. For example, a national hamburger chain can create much more engaging content for their audience if it is tailored by market. For this example, promoting their ice cream frosty would be better received if it was served to an audience in Tampa or San Diego than to a customer in Minneapolis in the middle of winter. By serving the right content to the right audience, you are always maximizing your opportunities for engagement.
Balihoo’s Social Media Solution enables national brands to localize their content to reach local audiences with tailored messages that are relevant to them. To learn more about how Balihoo can help you increase brand awareness and brand trust via social media, learn more about their Social Media Solution today.
This post was written by Sean Winnett – Digital Marketing Specialist for DaviesMoore, a Full-Service Marketing & Advertising Agency located in Boise, Idaho.