We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again. There is a huge difference between using social media for business and correctly using social media for business. Like many marketing platforms, social media is competitive, so falling behind on industry trends will lead to failure.
How do you ensure that your time is used wisely? With social media, it all comes down to effectively communicating with customers and spreading the word about your business in a cost-effective manner. The way you communicate with your customers can mean everything, so let’s get down to the science of it all.
Define Your Purpose
Outlining your purpose will help you connect how your social media marketing strategies will align with your business objectives. Don’t lose sight of the big picture and remember that social media is simply a tool for furthering your goals. Understanding your social media goals will put you one step closer to accomplishing your overall business goals.
Consider Your Brand
Your brand will follow your business everywhere it goes. Everything your business does on social media will be an extension of its brand, so be sure your efforts are cohesive. Every post should remind customers of what your business has to offer while representing your brand’s values. When it comes to promoting your brand on social media, your audience should always be your priority.
Get to Know Your Audience
Developing a messaging strategy without understanding your audience is like aiming with your eyes closed. This is when you connect your audience with your brand.
Consider what a customer gets out of following your business on social media. What would they like to hear? Remember the voice you choose will impact how customers view your brand, then formulate a strategy.
Knowing what your audience wants from your business can help establish the role you can play on social media.
Craft Your Voice Strategically
Your tone of voice should reflect what your customers want from your business. Start by building a general persona based on what you know about your audience. Keep the traits broad to avoid alienating some customers. It’s impossible to know everything! Trying to perfect your personas will cause you to waste time and lose sight of the whole point, which is to offer your social media followers what they want.
Fulfill your brand’s niche! Based on your brand and industry, your social followers might expect you to be funny, or informative, etc. Consider what they would expect to receive by following your page and provide it. You can test different tactics and learn what works best over time.
Engage Your Audience
The opportunity for 2-way communication is something that sets social media apart from other marketing channels. People want to be heard and if your business isn’t listening, they will gravitate to a competitor who is. On the flip side, listening AND responding to customers on social media will help establish loyalty for your brand. Consumers form connections with brands and having a quick conversation with them on social media is an excellent way to strengthen that bond.
Wendy’s does an exceptional job of promoting itself on social media. It takes opportunities to playfully “trash talk” competitors and even some fans. This might not have been quite as successful with other audiences, but given the younger demographics with the brand’s involvement in pop-culture it was perfect.
Build a set of brand guidelines to follow to ensure you’re promoting a consistent message. Once your brand’s voice is developed, you can really work to make it your own. This is when you can get creative and develop a real connection to your customers. Think of your social media personality as somewhere between a mascot and spokesmen. You should inform and entertain.
The tone of voice you choose will dictate how your brand communicates with its key publics and reflect how customers view your brand. Take time to consider who you’re communicating with and what they might want from following your page.