As marketers, we track engagements, impressions, click-throughs, reach, and more, but it’s time to record another element on social media – how well did we connect with our audiences? The key to breaking through in social, earning genuine engagement, brand loyalty and real revenue from social marketing, is being relatable. Brands can’t get away with the minimum anymore, as consumers value authentic connections. So how do you go about being relatable and transparent on a digital platform? We recommend using customer service, humor, brand voice, and innovation to reach your customers. Below are tactical and tangible ways your brand can get real and attract the right target audiences.
Start with developing a strategy.
A social media strategy is a summary of everything you intend to do and hope to accomplish on social media. It guides your actions and lets you know whether you’re succeeding or failing. Content development, campaigns, every post, reply, like, and comment should serve a purpose stemming from that strategy. Creating goals for your channels, researching your target audience, examining your current efforts, and developing next steps are key for a successful launch and implementation.
Follow the trends
To be a successful social marketer, you have to follow the trends and viral moments of pop culture on social. Just observing from afar won’t be enough for you to fully understand the popularity of a trend. Get in the trenches and follow as much as you can on your primary channels so you can better participate and relate to your audiences while humanizing your brand. Some of the best ways to stay on top of trends include monitoring trending hashtags, following influencers in your space, and subscribing to industry newsletters. Authenticity is key to setting your company apart from its competitors. Don’t be afraid to have an opinion or insert humor into a conversation if applicable!
Consider working with influencers and using user-generated content
Depending on your industry and business, working with influencers may be a valuable way to gain visibility in a natural and relatable way. Social influencers can be those with thousands of followers, but they can also be the advocates and stakeholders of your brand. According to a Hashoff report, 82% of consumers said they were very likely to follow the recommendation of an influencer they follow. Research those who have influence in your market and develop a mutually beneficial relationship to better reach your audiences. Another way to generate a reliable following with engaged followers is to begin sharing user-generated content. User-generated content is defined as any type of content that has been created and put out there by fans of the brand. So instead of your business promoting yourself on social, you share the user’s content that is promoting the brand. It often refers to pictures, videos, testimonials, and more. Always ask before posting, though!
Utilize customer service techniques.
Twitter has shifted its focus to brands. If you look closely at a company’s Twitter page under the replies, you’ll notice a plethora of customer service posts trying to respond to customer inquiries. From food services and retail to airlines and tech, it’s the new normal. With conversations being public, your brand needs to be seen as responsive and effective. Social listening has also become a valuable asset on social media. Social listening and monitoring track keywords and phrases relevant to your brand – not just by your followers, but with an entire bird’s eye and analytical view. By monitoring social keywords, your brand may have greater access to influence other behaviors, develop new innovations, and stay relatable. In fact, according to a 2017 survey, 25% of businesses use social listening to improve their products, 24% to attract customers, and 21% to provide better customer service.
Use a smart CTA
Your call to action is the most important piece of your social media content, but that doesn’t mean you have to hard sell everything that's posted. Your followers want content they can enjoy and find. Use your brand voice to develop these CTAs and remain concise with the action direction. After blasting different CTAs to your followers, see what works and what doesn't by measuring the post's success. All audiences are unique and will react to different outputs, so always test and measure your social content. Asking for feedback, preferences, or suggestions can be a great way to gain insight.
Measure and track performance
Similarly to the CTA tracking, never assume everything will be perfect the first few times. Social media is a great tool for how markets can adjust and track performance in the blink of an eye and a click of the mouse. Use tracking analytics to learn how visitors move through your website and which posts attract the most engagement. Compare content performance and test it with other types of content. Constant testing allows you to understand what works and what doesn’t. Brands that are relatable will outperform their competitors over the next 10 years. If you're genuine, you'll win.