In order for brands to successfully use social media for their business goals, they must shift their focus away from collecting likes and retweets to engaging directly with their customers.
Like any happy teenage girl, brands jump for joy when they reach an all time high of likes on their posts, thinking that people are finally listening to what they have to say. Well unfortunately, according to a study conducted by social@Ogilvy, the social-media arm of Ogilvy & Mather, and SurveyMonkey, experts concluded that social media “likes” do not translate to genuine brand engagement. In the raw form, what they are trying to say is that a “like” on social media does not translate to realistic brand likability.
Now, this does not mean that companies should abandon monitoring likes and retweets on social media, but rather they should simultaneously work on putting a face to their brands and engage directly with their true promoters. It’s too easy for brands to get lost in the mix of things when they have no personable relationship with their consumers. According to the study, while 55 percent of U.S. responders are social sharers, only 19 percent of those users are brand promoters, meaning they are likely to recommend brands and products to their friends. Your company’s goal should be to shift these numbers by creating direct brand loyalty among your brand promoters.
While this may sound like a daunting and difficult task, it is not impossible to achieve. The survey offered five easy ways for brands to gain relevance and trust on social media in order to interact more heavily with potential brand promoters:
1. Timing is key. Like any successful relationship, things need to happen naturally in the right place and at the right time.
2. Tell a story. Engage with your customers using culturally relevant storytelling with a cohesive voice and flow across platforms.
3. Shift your brand focus. Look more heavily at business metrics such as leads, sales, performance, and customer loyalty.
4. Narrow your audience. Focus on a more specific target audience by analyzing behaviors and interests within your demographic.
5. Create a community. Develop trust through direct customer engagement.
In a clique way, customer-brand relationships and personal relationships are two of the same. If brands look at their consumers as their significant others, there would be much more brand loyalty and engagement with customers. Brands must go beyond the surface level and open themselves up to their consumers. Like any relationship counselor would say, it’s much harder to walk away from a relationship when you feel invested in the person. Get your brands to invest their time and needs in your company and avoid the long-winded breakup.