4th August 2014
Social media includes virtually anything you post online: tweets, Facebook posts, likes, shares, web content and more. It is embedded in the lives of many of us – over 1.3billion monthly active members of Facebook as of January 2014 – but at the corporate level, most companies still don’t know what to do with it. According to a recent Harvard Business Review study, although 79% of the 2,100 companies surveyed are either using or planning to use social media channels, a measly 12% of those firms feel that they are using them effectively.
That 12% engage beyond the tired method of “shout marketing,” by using social media to promote their brand, monitor trends among customers, and even research new product ideas.
Social media marketing holds enormous potential for companies to get closer to customers, increasing revenue, efficiencies and reducing costs. According to Localist (Nov, 2013) 85% of buying decisions are made by researching the web for recommendations and information and 92% of Kiwis trust recommendations from their peers. But social media is a game changer for marketing. Businesses have to start thinking like a customer. According to IBM research, there is a large perception gap between what customers seek via social media and what companies offer. Consumers are far more interested in obtaining tangible value, suggesting businesses may be confusing their own desire for customer intimacy with consumers’ motivations for engaging.
When done well an online social profile can work as:
- an extension of customer service
- a way to build brand awareness
- a place to improve customer engagement
- a way to gain insight into what your customers care about.
Social media sites offer an unique opportunity to build collaborative social experiences and conversations with customers. But a different approach to customer communication is required.
So, how do you even make wise decisions on the best online sites to use and, then, how do integrate them into your online profile, manage, monitor, review and tweak? Even if you are a digital native, when you are running a business, there are many areas that demand your attention daily and to understand the disruptive world of digital marketing, is a huge challenge.
In the great Kiwi tradition of “no. 8 wire” when we talk to people about using social media as an integral part of a digital marketing campaign, we often hear the response, “I can manage a Facebook page myself”. “Anyone can do it – right?” And it won’t cost me anything.” But, managing social networking sites for your business is very different to managing your own personal page. In a recent study, posting too frequently and ‘boring’ content were cited at the most popular reasons for people to unfollow and unlike brands.
Most businesses do not have the expertise or time to devote to a well formulated social media strategy and to constantly tweak and post appropriately. We don’t all need to be constantly told what day of the week it is by our favourite vendors, but savvy social media strategists will tailor the content and tone of the messages to retain interest from your followers and to attract new ones. This requires an appropriate mixture of promotional content and social engagement.
Working with a trusted partner to clarify your marketing goals, formulate a digital strategy and manage the social media has proven to be a successful formula with local Kiwi businesses we’re delighted to have as customers. In late 2013, Plyman came to us for advice with a broad brief to increase brand exposure and grow sales. A central part of our plan to help them has been a digital strategy and social media management. In the first 6 months of 2014 they have seen an average monthly increase in sales of 25% over 2013.
To discuss a digital marketing strategy to improve your business’s success, contact Touch.