Unless a business has great things to say about social media, they are probably doing it wrong. They most likely do not really understand what social media is and how it can be used to their benefit. Social Media is not meant to be a virtual salesperson for you, that is what a landing page is meant for. Social Media is not a giant billboard for you to sell to everyone who come across your posts or page. Social media allows companies and brands to be intentional in developing long lasting relationships with their customers and consumers. When a company can create that relationship then that person could become a brand advocate or brand ambassador that will be a great word-of-mouth marketer for the business. Before companies attempt to focus on creating relationships they must focus on "humanizing" their business on social media. An easy way for companies to make their business for "human" is to focus on story telling. Every business has a narrative to share.
Social media gives businesses an amazing opportunity to create a two-way conversation with their consumers and audience. Yes, Nike may not be able to sell massive amounts of their shoes on Snapchat, but when they can reply to someone on Snapchat that person could become a super fan, committed customer, or brand advocate. If a company or brand measures how much money they make after spending X hours on social media then they may need to shift their mindset on what really is social media. This does not mean companies, brands, and businesses cannot make more money, sales, and get more leads from social media. The companies and brands that work smart on social media have seen major returns on their money and time investment. Many companies have seen exponential growth that they credit to digital or social media.
Compelling content can attract customers and inspire loyalty. Good marketing starts with the customer but often times companies start with themselves on social media. Purpose driven content marketing campaigns will be able to inspire intellectual and emotional reactions with your audience.
- By 2017 51% of companies will have an executive in their organization who is directly responsible for an overall content marketing strategy. (e.g., Chief Content Officer, VP or director of content) (Curata)
By creating engaging content about topics that interest their audience, companies are able to attract new leads. Once these leads engage with their content, businesses have several ways to convert them into customers and brand advocates. You want people to follow your pages and share your posts because they actually enjoy the content. Businesses want to contribute and add value to the conversation with great content. Social media is one giant party with conversations happening everywhere.
When a business is always trying to push their products on their audience, they are like the guy with a trench coat trying to sell his MLM products to everyone. Nobody will trust or like that guy. But when that guy develops a relationship with a person, develops credibility, trust, and rapport then brings awareness to what he offers to people -- he will be a very successful person.
When businesses shift their thinking and learn that social media is a two-way conversation with their audience they will create better expectations for how social media can be used to help their business.
Humans are not statistics. Businesses should focus on creating and nurturing relationships with their audience instead of trying to boost their numbers.
Interesting dialogue about this blog post:
Friend: "Social media "experts" have been pushing the relationship element forever. A part of that is true, but it's also pure fluff. Relationships don't drive revenue just by engaging. When we constantly rehash the content and relationship are king line, we lose site of the data-driven strategy that does drive results. It's like small biz that relies on word of mouth and then can't pay its bills."
Me: "You're 100% right it is just fluff if all they do is get reach and impressions. This is a mindset shift. Optimized campaigns with authority to prove to your audience that they are safe in your hands and that they can trust the business. When a business brings awareness that they solve their problems provides solutions for their audience then the customers will not only buy from the business but will come back as loyal customers. This article is purely conceptual and a mindset shift."
"When a consumer knows the story of a business, sees the "human" aspect of the business, and feels an emotional tie to the business then they'll not only buy from the business but return as loyal customers. But if all a business did was post every FB post as "BUY FROM US" then they could lose their audience and consumers."
Friend: "This is true and a big point I often make. My contention is always that the content doesn't matter if you're not strategically promoting it (advertising). Lots of businesses have amazing content that they create and post. Most of it is never seen and very little is created in order to motivate buyer behavior, so it fails to drive business. The relationships and content are key, but always must be tied to an overall strategy. as you're saying."
Me: "This is the same point of view we are talking about.
I am expressing the mindset of 80/20 rule for content --
80% would be shareable engaging
20% would be promoting for sales and products
A business on social media will not thrive if 100% content is promoting, noisy, loud, and 'sales-y' "
The reason why word-of-mouth marketing and influencer marketing is so effective is because there is an already existing emotional connection or relationship --
The reason why viral marketing works is because the video that went viral connected with people on an emotional level --
The reason why marketing ever works is because the value of the product or service was expressed correctly.
The reason why video marketing works is because consumers can connect on a more authentic level with the video. A business can try to get a consumer to read paragraphs of text all day long, but when a consumer can hear a voice, match the business with a human face, understand the passion and enthusiasm behind the person in the video, they are more likely to buy into that business."