Some marketers believe that the number of followers they have is an indication of their success on social media. A recent Wall Street Journal article argued that social media is failing to live up the marketing hype companies originally expected. The reason for this is because many companies get caught up in the numbers game and focus their efforts on growing their audience on social media. A successful social media strategy should emphasize customer engagement and interaction with followers.
Quality Over Quantity
When it comes to followers, it's about quality rather than quantity. Smart social media marketers realize that the number of followers is insignificant compared to the comments, engagement and interactions with followers.
Engagement with followers is key to building your brand identity and online presence, which can lead to follower growth. Rather than focusing your efforts on gaining followers, your social media strategy should include daily social media monitoring, responding to followers' comments, and analyzing data about your audience. Social listening is essential to help you understand your audience so you can create content that they will be interested in.
Customer Engagement Drives Social Engagement
A recent Gallup survey shows that 72% of adults in the U.S. use social media, making it an effective platform for B2C and B2B marketers to connect with consumers. But the majority of consumers use social media to connect with friends and family, and are less interested in engaging with brands and learning about their products or offers. In fact, 62% of consumers said that social media does not influence their purchasing decisions at all. They're more likely to listen to their family, friends or experts to learn about new brands or products.
Businesses need to reevaluate their social media strategy and initiatives to have a positive influence on the bottom line. If your company wants to acquire new customers, remember that customer engagement is driven through social engagement. Try engaging with your existing customers on social media and encourage them to advocate for your company.
Listen Up!: The Importance of Social Listening
The concept of social listening is nothing new, but many companies are now beginning to incorporate it into their social media strategy to improve the effectiveness of their social engagement. Social listening includes monitoring the conversations consumers have on social media and finding opportunities to participate and interact with existing and prospective customers. It can also give you insights on the type of content that will interest your audience and helping to identify industry influencers and brand advocates.
The social media team at General Electricdoes an excellent job on Twitter at responding to both positive and negative feedback. Take a look at the two tweets below:
@debruss05 Sorry you're having issues! Please submit the details to [email protected] and @GE_Appliances will take a look.- General Electric (@generalelectric) June 25, 2014
This is a great example of how social media can be used as an extended customer service. When a customer tweeted about issues they were experiencing with their refrigerator, General Electric apologized for the inconvenience and offered a solution to help resolve the problem.
@robienchristie Thanks for sharing, Robien. We can see that you share our passion for #innovation!- General Electric (@generalelectric) June 25, 2014
General Electric also acknowledges positive comments and thanks customers for being supportive. Responding to positive feedback is a great opportunity to show your fans that you appreciate their loyalty and support. This is a great way to turn a brand admirer to a brand ambassador.
To learn more about social media monitoring or how to develop an effective social media strategy for your company, click here.
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