By Seth Rand, the Co-Founder and CEO of Wizard Digital Marketing.
It’s not necessary anymore to tell business owners that social media is the key to marketing their products or services. However, the side effect of the social media culture that we are living in has brought about a new key to marketing businesses: communication.
Consumers are online practically 24/7 and they expect two-way communication from the companies they follow and any new products or services being marketed to them. Gone are the days of just emailing your question to a company and waiting for a response. Consumers now expect a much quicker turnaround time with DMs and comments on social media channels.
Know Your Lane And Cater Your Messages
The key is for brands to balance the conversation with their brand message without feeling overly promotional. Answer questions, join in on the conversations in which you have authority but stay out of the way of topics that are not relevant to your brand.
Another best practice is to cater your replies and messages to the audience and platform. While a brand’s target market is the same no matter which social media channel is being used to communicate, the channel will dictate how the message is communicated. For example, a reply to a question must be much shorter in a tweet reply than in a DM on Instagram. Also, a comment reply on an Instagram post cannot have a clickable link, while you can include a link for more info in a tweet.
Something else to keep in mind is how your audience wants to get answers. Do they want you to provide a full answer in reply to their comment or direct them to a blog on your website to learn more? This may not be a question you can answer right away, but with some trial and error, you’ll get there. Use past consumer communication as a guide and ask followers what they want to see using tools like polls.
Put A Face to Your Brand
Successful brands all have one thing in common in their marketing efforts: the communication feels like you’re talking to another human. Putting a face to your brand does not have to be a literal face (while that can work, we’ll get to that in a minute).
The main way to make followers feel connected to a brand is to have authentic conversations that don’t feel tied to scripts or use jargon. A key element to helping the conversations feel more authentic is to include real or stage names in replies so that consumers feel like they are talking to another person.
Let’s get back to using a literal face for your brand. Most of the time you think about using a spokesperson and they become the face of the brand. While that works great for larger brands with bigger budgets, it can often be just as effective to use your own staff.
Look at your employees, CEO, influencers and so on. If you have experts already working for you, utilize them; it’ll help the business and them, as well. Upper management teams typically have many years of experience in their field and can provide a lot of insight on topics that consumers want to hear about (me writing this article is a prime example). A bonus is if they have a following on social media to help promote the content they write.
With social media constantly evolving and keeping brands on their toes, it’s crucial to demonstrate to consumers that your brand can adapt to changing times. This can be difficult since each platform has differing communication functions and features; but when companies interact well with audiences through various platforms, it humanizes the brand by indicating that there is another person behind the screen and the brand itself. Authentic two-way communication promotes a better relationship between the brand and the consumer.