According to recent statistics, as of January 2018, there were 3.196 billion active social media users in the world, or about 42% of the global population. But what do we actually mean by social networking? According to Google, it’s
“the use of dedicated websites and applications to interact with other users, or to find people with similar interests to one’s own.”
So social is, in fact, intended to be social!
So why are so many brands ‘anti-social’ on social media?
We’ve all seen it – you follow the brands you love, but all they do is Sell, Sell, Sell! Maybe I have a favourite clothing brand for example, and they might have been my Go To for years, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I want to see their latest products, on a daily basis. I might love their jeans, but I don’t want to be constantly reminded how their cropped style is perfect for this summer, every time I log in to Facebook. I don’t want to just be ‘talked at’ or ‘sold to’.
But yet so many brands seem to have interpreted social media as another advertising channel, and take the approach of ‘I’ll use it to tell my audience what I think they want to know’. However, this is risky. I might love that clothing brand, or that travel company, but if they keep telling me how wonderful they are on such a regular basis, eventually this will damage my opinion of their brand. I certainly might unfollow them on social media, and if they are being anti-social enough, they will lose me as a customer too. In the age where customer experience is king, I want to feel like brands care about me and my life – not just want to sell me their products.
Instead, business should see social media should as a party (or at least a networking event if you’re more the serious type), where like-minded people get together to talk about topics they are all interested in. You would never turn up to a party and talk only about yourself. You would chat about the small things; ask others how they are and what’s happening in their lives; try to add value if someone you were talking to needed help or advice.
Social media is exactly the same. It’s a platform for brands to get to know their customers; find out what pushes their buttons (and not just in terms of jeans!); and find out how you can add value to them, over and above merely selling them a product or service.
So what does this mean for my social media marketing going forward?
5 tips to help you join the (social media) party
- Listen to your audience, and ask questions – if you don’t know how you can add value, talk to them! You might be surprised how willing they are to tell you what you need to know!
- Know their interests – what floats their boat? What else are they interested in that could be linked back to your brand?
- Think about their lives. Buying a pair of jeans equates to a tiny transaction in the grand scheme of things, so how can you keep their attention for longer than a single fraction of time?
- Engage them – if you want your audience to talk to you, give them a reason to. Encourage user-generated content. Give them an incentive to get involved
- Be nice – complement people who engage with you. Thank them. Wish them a nice day.
If you’re not sure that you’re being social enough on social media, contact us today!