Is your company breaking into social media? Good. You’re not too late. But, now that you have taken the very important step of establishing your brand in the social world, what are you going to do next.
To build a following, maintain that following and engage with your audience, there are things you must do. Obviously you need to update regularly. If your content gets stale, users lose interest. The content you do offer should fit certain criteria to accomplish the goals you have set for your social presence. Here are 5 things your brand should offer through its social media channels to make it most effective.
Use your social platforms as your virtual soapbox. Do you have an event coming up? What about the latest industry news? Is your business having a sale or getting new products? Let your fans and followers know about it through Facebook or Twitter. This creates value. It gives your audience a reason to pay attention to your feed. It also reminds them of why they follow you in the first place. Providing valuable information is an essential way to use your social channels.
Entertaining your audience is an extremely effective way to keep your audience coming back and create new followers. How does something on the social web go viral? People share it. When you create an entertaining piece of content, users eat it up and then pass it on. Think about the last time you saw a funny YouTube video. After you watched it, did you share it on your Facebook profile or e-mail it to friends. How many of your friends then did the same? Entertaining your audience is one of the best ways to create engagement and increase your audience on the social web.
Another great thing to offer users through your social channels is something of utility. Something they can use. Consider developing a useful app or even just linking to an app that your audience will find useful. They will appreciate it. Another utilitarian piece of content that can be disseminated through social channels is a “How To”. Consider writing a blog post or creating a short video that explains how to do something that your users will find useful. These are some of the most popular pieces of social content.
No, I am not telling you to offer cash for friends or fans or followers or anything like that. That goes against everything that social media is about. You can, however, offer your audience incentives to following your brand on the social web. This can be done in two ways. You can offer a financial incentive, like a coupon or discount, to new followers of your brand on the various social platforms. Or, you can simply inform the public that you disseminate coupons, discounts, early access to sales, etc. to your fans which will generate new followers. Everyone wants something for free. Or at least wants to feel like they got an insider’s deal. Use that to your advantage when building and maintaining your social audience.
5. Customer Service
Last, but certainly not least, offer your customer service to your existing client base or potential customers. In the recent past, many large corporations, including Comcast and Best Buy, have used Twitter as a hugely successful customer service tool. You can resolve issues, in real-time, and answer questions about your product or service from prospective customers. There is one caveat to taking this approach. DO NOT TAKE YOUR TIME! Customers expect a quick response when they take to the social web for customer service related issues. If you fail to provide a response in a reasonable period of time, or not at all, you may lose a customer. Social media can provide an invaluable and less-expensive alternative to traditional customer service undertakings.
Social media can provide a brand with an unparalleled outlet to build a base of loyal brand evangelists that can help grow a business. What you share with your audience can directly affect your social success, or lack thereof. Sharing valuable content can be the key to making your social media efforts all worthwhile.