A growing follower number means growing a brand's reach on social networks; however, more followers doesn't always mean more success.
Measuring clicks on links in social media posts is a free and easy way to measure the effectiveness of brand messaging. If no one clicks the links, then probably relevant and valuable information is not present, or the follower base is not the right audience.
Growth in sharing of a brand's content is a valuable engagement metric. Content that gets shared by the audience is one of the fastest ways to grow relevant follower bases on social networks. Dialogue and participation digital channels provide an excellent way to reach, influence and engage with the customers by listening to their feedback about the products or any issues.
A website can provide customers with information and web service, allowing call centres to be phoned from the site. Email, Facebook and Twitter can also help reach the audience by responding to their comments and enquirers. The focus should be on positive online brand experiences for the audience and the company. If the experience created is effective, the visitor will return, and recommend it to their friends and colleagues. The key is to help customers understand what type of content is best used to either entertain, educate, inspire or convince a client about the product or services.
The customer experience journey
Listen before talking - social CRM represents a continuing journey by organizations to deliver the right customer experience at the right time. It's NOT just about technologies. It's NOT just about business processes. It's about fundamentally how and where to reengage with customers in both social channels and the traditional ones. To be effective, marketers must listen to what consumers are already saying, making them relevant when they deploy their social marketing efforts. Identify top influencers, rank top conversations, prioritize top channels, and identify velocity of discussion.
Social media is the best opportunity for improving relationships and expanding the brand. Being visible and available in the virtual world can expand a company's success in the real world. Connecting with the virtual brand community helps build and nurture real relationships, relationships that will increase the success and fulfilment.
The best way to use social media to your advantage is to communicate your message so to attract the right audience by simply saying what you believe not just what you do. This approach makes the audience empowered and ready to follow for themselves, not because they are told. In this way, it is possible to create quality long-term relationships and loyalty with your customers.
Choosing the right channels
Today, marketers have more choices than ever regarding how and where to promote or advertise products and services. Web-based advertising and multiple social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as mobile marketing. There are plenty of channels out there; however, that doesn't mean everyone should be everywhere at all time.
Another important thing is choosing the right channels. We need to know what channels our customers are using, and also the strengths and weaknesses of each channel. It's better to concentrate on the more effective channels than trying to be everywhere all the time.
The main marketing and brand challenges in using social media
The main marketing and brand challenges in using social media are ignoring the comments and tone of communication which is important for controlling the brand that is reaching the audience through social media. Most businesses place a high priority on putting out content and getting it to circulate across social networks while forgetting to engage actively with their audience. That means acknowledging the followers' comments and responding to them.
On social networks as in any other channel, communication must be disciplined and professional. Another critical element is the perception of friendliness. Most social network users use informal language in this medium and appreciate a friendly tone in communication by the brands they relate to, and finding the balance between friendliness and professionalism is a great challenge.
In conclusion, no strategy or plan is perfect and need to be put into practice first to see if any changes should be made. There may be some things that will not go as we planned in the beginning. That is why we should make changes according to the market requirements. For example, our advertising strategy may not appeal to our target audience as we expect, for various reasons. To tackle this, we need to reach our customers by listening to their feedback, needs and wants, and communicating with them instead of talking at them.