This is the fourth post in a five-part series on how to use online marketing to look as big as your biggest competitor.
Its All About the People
By now every business from Tiffanys to taco trucks has a social media presence, but simply having an account with Facebook and Twitter doesnt do anything if youre not actively engaging your customers and fostering discussions around your brand. So despite the fact that most signs point to social media being the future of branding and advertising, many large companies still dont have a very active social media presence relative to the size of their brand. This creates an excellent opportunity for your company to differentiate yourself and capture word-of-mouth buzz.
Here are two steps you can take right away to win the online battle for hearts and minds:
According to a recent survey by inboxQ, brands that take the initiative to answer customers questions see significant boosts in both engagement and sales intent. See the charts below:
This is an area where small to medium-sized companies actually have an advantagehuge brands rarely have the resources or the willingness to respond to the thousands of inquiries, complaints and questions that they receive every day. Taking the time to listen to peoples feedback and responding quickly and candidly will prove to people that there are actual people on the other side of your social profile page, and will create a closer connection between your customers and your brand.
Most people dont click the Like button on Facebook because theyre hungry for more advertising messagesthey clicked it because they care about your company or product. Reward this loyalty by offering your followers useful content, exclusive deals, and personalized attention to ensure that you maintain your customers goodwill toward your brand. In fact, according to a study by Razorfish, access to exclusive deals and offers is the primary motivation for people to engage with a brand on social networks:
Offering your fans exclusive deals sets off a positive feedback loopthe more value you provide your fans, the more likely they are remain followers of your brand, and the higher the chances that they will share your deals with their friends and drive more attention to your brand.
Your brands social media presence is your companys face to the world. In an era when reputation and a personal touch are highly valued in the marketplace, making the effort to connect with your customers online and nurturing their loyalty through exclusive deals can help you distinguish your company from faceless and impersonal corporations and give you a crucial competitive advantage.
Check back next week for the final installment in this seriesKnowledge is Power.