Anyone who has ever been a social media skeptic—particularly in relation to marketing products and building brand awareness—is now painfully aware of the powerful impact that an online presence can have. Through social media, users are finding jobs, products are finding fans and media members are even finding stories (a national survey conducted earlier this year by Cision found that an “overwhelming majority of reporters and editors now depend on social media sources when researching their stories”).
In all of the aforementioned cases, networkers have gained interest, trust and loyalty through social media—which is no easy feat. A rookie mistake is to just set up social media sites and desperately hope on a wing and a prayer it will take off on its own. Another mistake is to send into cyberspace repetitive and impersonal posts that boast “Check out Billy Bob’s (insert product here) –It will CHANGE YOUR LIFE!”
Imagine yourself as a consumer: Would you take an interest in this person or product? In order to generate interest, you must put effort and work into the relationship-building aspect of social media beyond simply “hawking wares.”
The Enlightened Consumer
In part due to social media and the age of instant communication and information sharing, businesses are quickly adopting an even stronger customer-centric approach in order to be recognized among all the noise and build a fan base. Consumers today have the power to spread support for or veto products instantaneously; therefore, it’s more common now for the consumer’s interests to be represented and feedback listened to.
After all, if every consumer’s opinion is broadcasted to a forum of millions of potential readers, wouldn’t you want comments to be positive rather than negative?
Converting Visitors to Followers
Let’s assume you have a finished product and you’re ready to promote it online. Your Twitter page, Facebook Fan page, official blog, and other sites have been set up, but now what? Before you dive into social media, consider things from the average consumer’s vantage:
–“And WHY should I care?” Your focus is on your product, but resist the urge to post about it only. Give visitors a reason to be interested beyond your own product, and you’ll reach a wider audience and earn followers. Keep posts personal and varied—more people will become engaged if they know the sites aren’t maintained by a single-focused robot.
–“You’ve got to give love to get love.” As cliché as it may sound, you must give due attention to other products and related services to receive attention in return. If you’re an author, support other authors when possible. When interacting with potential followers, take an interest in and comment on what they are reading, writing or involved with.
—What Can I Get Out of This? Providing posts of value to consumers is a must. Make it a priority to dispense valuable tips, previews, photos and thought-provoking questions as often as possible. Research and share interesting statistics, articles or videos related to your genre, and make sure to supply interactive options like email subscriptions and applications.
By taking the consumer into consideration, you’re more likely to build relationships that yield positive results (a win-win situation). As a consumer, what would you like to see done more often with social media?
Check out the books below to learn more about social media marketing: