ocial media is here to stay whether you like it or not? Social media is not about opening a corporate Facebook or Twitter page its about engagement, creating an interaction with customers online. Its amazing to note that most local marketers think that by simply creating a Facebook or Twitter page they are now in the social media game alas! This is tantamount to what I call “professional ignorance”.
The reason customers are on Facebook is not that they are looking for your brand or company no! they are looking for friends to chat with, posts to like, games to play, responding to other people’s posts among others and the challenge for the marketer is to break through that clutter and convince your audience to drop what they are doing and visit your profile. How do we as marketers break through the social media clutter? How do we position ourselves within the context of social media marketing? 3 imperatives come to mind;
As I alluded to earlier the key driver for social media is interaction, customers are looking for ways to engage their friends online, they are fascinated by their friend’s posts, they like to share their thoughts hear and be heard simple as that. In light of that it is important for marketers to create a platform for engagement by first capturing the customer’s attention.
This is where the creativity is displayed through developing a nice cover page and profile picture, ad placements, creating targeted ads among others. Attention simply entails creating a Facebook page that gets you noticed above other Facebook pages. Examples of good pages are Samsung Mobile .
Engagement and Interaction
Engagement and Interaction entails designing your social media properties in a manner that engages and interacts with customers either through games, posts and real time apps. Customers do not simply visit your page for the sake of it, they want to interact, they want to relate with you and it is your duty as a marketer to ensure your Facebook page is as interactive as possible.
Online interaction is the hallmark of social media and will greatly help you cut through the clutter by ensuring real time engagement with your customers. Locally I saw the Umax uploaded a game on its page and this helps in creating that affinity and a fan spends time playing the game.
Another important element is visual aesthetics, customers love browsing through nice pictures, watching funny clips and if you can get that I guarantee that will create a positive brand experience for your customers. Another dimension is to create real time applications like for example self-help service, online chat with your customer services among others, these apps will help drive traffic from your help lines as customers will find it convenient to get assistance on the social media platform.
Online engagement also entails that you need personnel to respond to customer queries online and in real time through the customer posts or inbox messages. In the realm of social media gone are the days when you post a message and vanish only to reappear with another post the next day.
Online reputation management entails that you respond to questions, queries that arise directly from your posts as well as from the inbox messages. Imagine if you have a resource dedicated to responding and commenting 24/7 on customer responses, your customers will feel good as that plays into their minds that you have them at heart.
Another important element of social media marketing is that customers do not like to be overwhelmed with information, just because you have a corporate page does not give you the right to bombard customers with brand information! Keep on doing this at your peril! No one likes to read hoards of information, customers like jokes, funny stuff as this is a more relaxed platform social and not professional. At the same time it is important to maintain balance between being professional and social. But always remember Facebook is social and not corporate.
In conclusion the dye has been cast, there is no going back! Social media is here to stay and its either you collaborate or you perish.