Engagement. Discussion. Branding. Three words many companies, and digital marketers alike, use to describe reasons they are using social media or recommend their clients join the social media conversation. As a digital agency, we are often asked why a company should create a social media presence and why it is important to stay engaged with consumers on social media platforms. There are many reasons we provide as to why a business should become engaged with consumers or other businesses online via social media channels. Three of those key reasons include (1) brand perception, (2) customer service, and (3) market/brand research.
Brand perception is the obvious big reason to engage in social media conversations and social media marketing. Presenting your business in the best light possible not only leads to increased brand awareness, but also to the possibility of changing a consumer’s perception of the brand. Brand perception and brand awareness is a key step in increasing sales, new leads and new customers.
Consumers love good customer service – on the phone, via email and on social media. Developing a solid social media plan that involves customer service will benefit the company and the consumer. The consumer sees that the company is paying attention to its customers, which then leads to an improved brand perception. Personally, there are brands and companies I am more likely to Tweet if I have a problem with their product or service than others given their likelihood to respond and solve the problem. Positive interaction with consumers, even those with negative comments or concerns, benefits your business to be seen as a “helpful brand” and that message has the potential to spread virally via your consumers’ social media channels. Take for example Twitter. You have a consumer who has a problem with a product and tweets to you. Rather than ignoring your consumer, your customer service team quickly tweets a reply and asks to help. The conversation continues resulting in the problem being resolved. Not only is you consumer happier, but also then tweets how great the customer service is and thus recommends your brand or product to all their followers – potentially creating many new customers.
Monitoring social properties not only to improve customer-company relations, but also to conduct social market research with fans and followers creates a more integrated experience. Where else can a business receive unbiased, real-time opinions of products services and marketing campaigns? Brand feedback, negative or positive, sets the stage for any business to improve products, services or processes and develop new products, services or marketing campaigns based on consumer feedback. This monitoring helps brands understand their consumer better and as a result produce better user-oriented products and services.
As you probably noticed, these three reasons are intertwined and should be recognized together to produce a successful social media campaign. Development of a social media campaign should include many additional elements, but these three key reasons provide a solid ground for a business’ social media engagement to grow on.