It goes without saying social media has become an important element of every business these days. This is due to the fact that there are 500 million Tweets, 4.5 billion Likes on Facebook and 95 million photos and videos are being uploaded on Instagram each day. These staggering numbers are enough to entice companies to participate. Think about all the wealth of information available, waiting to be analyzed which your business could benefit.
Social media platforms are an essential tool to build your understanding of your consumers. Daily active engagement with your market enables you to become emotionally connected with your customers which helps your company to acquire data and to make smarter business decisions.
- Let there be Social
- Love Thy Camera
- Cause, Support Cause
- Listen, and Thou Shall Learn
- My Final Two Cent
1. Let there be social
“Social media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide for you.” – Matt Goulart.
Start reducing your business activities. Time to bring in the social activities and be relatable.
The whole idea of setting up social media is to allow consumers to be able to see the other part of your brand – the ‘unseen’ part of the brand which is rarely seen. People would like to get to know more about the brand. What better way to get to know someone (or a company) than socializing?
If your social media pages appear to be filled with photos that are ads, start doing it less. Your company needs to be more relatable to the consumers.
Be more engaging by starting to communicate with them. Start updating posts that encourage people to comment on it.
Start by becoming an expert in your industry. Educate your consumers and once you get enough reputation in the field, people starts trusting your brand and begins asking questions on your pages. With enough trust and confidence, you will give the consumers more reasons to buy from you.
You can also try starting quiz asking your followers on social media about something which they can share ideas with. I tried this idea few months into the Mirsky Mode startup. We started asking whether pricing between RM400-800 for a particular bag would be ideal, and received feedbacks. Online contests are another great tool to get people to communicate with you.
From my experience, people have no problem communicating with your business. You just need to give them reasons to do so. Create posts which act as a platform for consumers to comment. Imagine it like an ice-breaker to break the tension between strangers to start conversing. Give them reasons to get involved in the conversation. Be social and creative.
2. Love Thy Camera
Love the Camera, and you shall start understanding social media more.
No brainer. A crucial part of social media is the photos. You must not leave a day without taking photos which can be related to your business. I’m not suggesting to post every single photo which you have taken, you still need to be selective about this – which I will write a whole article about it, some day.
While it is always good to plan out your online posts, it is never wrong to be prepared with a camera in your hands in case of something worthy of sharing occurs. In some occasions, the most desirable result comes from unplanned decisions. This is expected as the entrepreneurial journey is filled with unknowns. By becoming flexible and willing to adapt to changes are important to be applied here.
3. Cause, Support Cause
“Be So Good, They Can’t Ignore You.” – Steve Martin (Sales Linguists).
Love and support the unfortunate ones, and you will get the love from the people.
I can’t stress enough the importance of giving back. I was raised by a family who believes in helping others, and witnessed personally how influential it can be to get others to help in as well.
What I’d like to point out is not to take advantage of people’s sympathy just to make more profits. We all know there are those kinds of people out there who does for the sake of money. I’m not preaching that.
Just be genuine and sincere on helping people, do not be a phony. You can organize events to collect donations, create a non-profit organization that focuses on helping the community to name a few. Help causes which you truly believe or had experience dealing with. Get the word out through your social media platforms to raise awareness on the issue. Become the brand that is known to help resolve the issue.
Tom’s Shoes does this very well. They rarely sell their products on their social media, instead, they focus more on promoting collaborations they have with organizations who are pioneers in helping kids with no shoes. Later on, they share stories of how the brand help people with sight problems which is relatable with the Toms Eyewear. These are all ideal platforms to promote the brand without even attempting to sell. They have become pioneers and experts on helping people using their products.
4. Listen and Thou Shall Learn
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning,” – Bill Gates.
Stop promoting on social media and start listening. Thou will be surprised by how much you will learn.
You will never stop learning new things about your business. I found it would be impossible to grow brands when you stop listening to the consumers – I found it the hard way. Although owners can be stubborn at times, you must never underestimate the value of people’s feedbacks.
Even at times, you feel disagreeing with what was shared, take a step back and spend some time analyzing the information. Get advices from people you trust and listen to. You’ll be surprised by how some of the feedbacks would help your business grow.
Take note everything shared by your customers despite of how difficult or offensive they can be. My rule thumb “It doesn’t matter how rude or agitated customers are, but it matters most when my own team is rude and the agitator.”
Start educating your staff to handle customer complaints better. Collect and analyse all the information gathered. If you feel information overload becomes a problem and can’t afford outsourcing or hiring part-timers, use Wordcloud. Copy and paste your customer feedbacks (scripts/keywords) and identify the key problems from the analysis. Discuss and prioritize which is important and start working on the problem.
5. Final Two Cent
At the end of the day, your social media success is determined by how well you connect and build relationship with the audience. Try reducing your selling posts and be more relatable to your consumers instead. Let the consumers see the ‘other’ side of your business. Let them get to know the people and behind the scenes of how the company runs. Be creative to separate yourself from the rest of the competition and people will start paying more attention to you.