Social Media Marketing: Terms and Conditions May Apply
As we all know by now, social media can be an extremely effective advertising tool. It’s a way to connect with your audience and have conversations with them in a way that was not possible just a few decades ago. As this platform evolves and grows, companies continue to throw hundreds of thousands of dollars into social media efforts every year trying to put themselves at the top of your newsfeed – so, does it work?
Short answer: yes, but it has its limitations. Unfortunately, companies who don’t understand these limitations are doomed to wasting resources trying to the find the “holy algorithm” that will boost sales. Luckily, we’ve outlined those limitations for you. Read on to learn what social media can and cannot do for your company.
Social Media Can Be Used To:
Improve Brand Visibility And Awareness
Improving brand visibility and awareness is really the best use for social media marketing. Using paid ads and boosting content can get your brand in front of hundreds of potential customers!
Word to the wise: use your money wisely. Learn as much as you can about your target audience – i.e. when they’re online, what their favorite platforms are, what types of content they gravitate toward, etc. prior to spending the big bucks. You can then use the information you gathered to make informed spending decisions that will have the greatest impact.
A perfect example of this come through Facebook ads. Though eerily accurate in their appeal to our tastes, a lot is owed to the marketers who create them.
As put by Jerry Low of Web Hosting Secret Revealed,
“It actually isn’t as weird as you think. Facebook knows a lot about you (and which websites you visited), and it uses that information to let advertisers target their ads to select groups of people… As an advertiser, you can identity and reach a target audience, as long as you know which targeting options to use.”
Make Consumers Feel Heard And Increase Brand Loyalty
Nothing makes customers feel more heard and respected than having their negative comment on social media responded to with a heartfelt apology asking for feedback on how to make the situation better. Even if their complaint is ridiculous, always respond asking if they could talk privately (DM if you will). Then, even if you can’t resolve the issue, other potential customers see your interaction and you are seen as caring and responsive.
Highlight Weaknesses In Your Business
Social media is a great place to get heartfelt customer feedback and, with this feedback, you may find holes in your business or customer service chain. Having an active social media presence is like having an in-house HR team that everyone feels comfortable talking to. Yes, it may result in some useless complaints but it may just also uncover some really problematic issues with your business, which you can then work toward fixing.
What Social Media Cannot Do:
There is a limit to how close people can feel toward those they only know online – the same goes for companies. Customers aren’t going to feel especially close to your brand if you only interact with them online. Lasting customer experiences happen offline whether that means in your stores, with your employees or even just the packaging that your product arrives in – so don’t forget about those crucial aspects when dividing up the marketing budget.
Make Current Customers Feel Special
Social media is really good at obtaining new customers – not so great at making loyal customers feel special and appreciated. While some seasoned companies can effectively do both, most businesses really don’t have the resources to. We suggest you stick with using special media as a customer attraction tool and use more personal means to connect with your current clients. This can include exclusive deals, custom emails, and birthday gifts.
Provide Returns With Minimal Effort
With social media marketing, you can’t expect to phone it in and have it still work. Effective social media takes a lot of time and effort. As much as we would love to set up automated posts and just forget about it till next week, effective social media needs constant attention. Customers and potential customers what a real person on the other end of a brand page – and they can tell when you’ve come up short.
Speed Up the Process
Building a memorable and effective brand takes a lot of time and resources. End of story. Just because setting up a Facebook business page is free doesn’t mean you’re going to wake up tomorrow to lots of engagement and 300+ new followers. Social media needs to be nurtured, often for months or even years before it gains any traction. However, if you take the time to cultivate a strong social media presence, you can use it to your advantage.