Let’s be frank. Any brand that is worth it’s salt is currently trying to take over the Internet, and most see social media as the way to do it. A recent study showed that 96% of businesses are developing a specific strategy for social media, and 95% expect to spend more of their budget on social media in the coming year. Those are some high numbers, and they reflect the continual rise of consumers that spend increasing time on social networking websites.
So we have established that businesses know where to find consumers, and have also taken steps to attract attention, but how do they stand out from the crowd? And how can they convert ‘likes,’ ‘followers,’ and ‘views’ into hard cash or sales targets? A study last year by Booz & Company found that companies such as Burberry, Diageo, and Nike are focusing on three very specific points in a bid to excel in the social media world.
- Treat your social networking sites, pages and profiles like you would a carefully planned party. It takes time, effort, planning and the creation of a great atmosphere where people feel comfortable and relaxed. Simply inviting someone is not enough, you have to make them feel welcome and provide them with something that they value in return for their attendance.
- Great content is the next step in the plan. Having ‘stuff’, meaning pictures, videos, memes or even audio files, that consumers will want to share or simply view themselves will not only encourage traffic, but loyalty as well. Having each of these things in a variety of formats (so they can be shared on various devices) is very important as well. Also, having exclusive images and videos that can only be found on social media sites will make consumers that are patrons of these sites, feel like they are part of something special or elite.
- Finally, numbers matter. It is often underestimated but serious marketers need to have real-time analytics capabilities to assess the impact of social media efforts. There is no point in carrying out a plan if you have no way to confirm that it is effective. When performance is measured, performance increases, as you can work out what consumers are most responsive to.
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