Social media is important to the success of modern businesses, especially those targeting younger generations. In order to stand out, businesses need to create a unique and engaging social media brand (particularly those in the service industry).
There’s a myriad of things you can do to connect with customers. Use creative hashtags, themed posts, and a unique tone to set your brand apart. It’s all about how well your brand resonates with people. Connections are formed from there.
However, no matter how on point your social media is, customers can be disappointed if your business doesn’t live up to the expectation. Don’t catfish your customers. In other words, be genuine and don’t try to fool them if you really want social media marketing success.
The Benefits of Connecting With Customers
By connecting with your customers on social media, you are creating brand ambassadors — the people who will promote your brand to others. Your fans and followers help you achieve brand loyalty and customer retention. It’s free online publicity!
“In years of coaching on branding, I’ve discovered the most important way to make your product or service ‘stick’ is a connection — a connection to self, a connection to others and a connection to products or services,” says brand expert Heather Pinay.
Social Media and Personality
You want to be able to make connections with people and one of the ways to do that is through social media. When you can show a little personality in your posts, you’re more likely to strike a chord with others. Customers or potential customers want to know there are real people behind the computer screen — not just corporate talking heads.
Showing a friendlier side through social media goes a long way — It’s even OK for a branded business or a B2B to use emojis and GIFs, says Liz Jostes, owner of Eli Rose Social Media. You can have a professional brand image and still have fun.
She just cautions not to force it. Not everyone is a comedian, meaning not every brand can be funny and edgy. “It’s really hard to be funny and do it well,” said Jostes. “If you don’t have the chops, you can’t go that way.”
Finding the Right Tone
Not everyone can call out burger giant McDonald’s without falling flat, but Wendy’s has managed to do quite well with their trolling of McDonald’s tweets over the past year. For example, when McDonald’s announced on Twitter that all Quarter Pounders at the majority of their restaurants will be cooked with fresh beef by mid-2018, Wendy’s was quick to fire back a response: “@McDonalds – So you’ll still use frozen beef in MOST of your burgers in ALL of your restaurants? Asking for a friend.”
Wendy’s must have a super sassy social media guru, because the Twitterverse eats up everything Wendy’s says. Even Wendy’s knows it has strong social media game. Here’s their Twitter description: “We like our tweets the same way we like to make hamburgers: better than anyone expects from a fast food joint.”
A snarky Twitter works well for fast food like Wendy’s but may not be suitable for an upscale restaurant. The point is that the atmosphere needs to match the marketing. Come up with your own voice and personality. Look at what your competitors are doing.
Promotional Products in a Digital Age?
We talk a lot about brand ambassadors spreading the good word about businesses via social media. But what about the value of businesses showing the love with promotional products like branded tees, hats or hoodies? Anyone who really connects with a brand would be proud to wear their gear, especially if it’s free.
“However, as companies turn to internet-only advertising and focus more on things like social media, they risk losing touch with their customers,” according to an article on Crowdspring. “To a certain degree, promotional products allow companies to connect with their customers more closely, develop brand recognition, and serve as a constant reminder.”
Don’t you think there’s a nice pairing to be found there in both the social media and physical world of free products?
The bottom line is people still love quality swag. Items that are useful in everyday life show customers that you’re thinking about their needs. Show your brand ambassadors the love with some good swag. A social media campaign may be a great way to do it. Even in our digital, internet-driven age, good-old-fashioned advertising is not dead. There’s just a new twist now in our social media era.
No matter how you choose to build your brand, social media plays a key part. To summarize, find the right tone for your brand; show some personality; utilize the skills of your social media wiz; look at what your competitors are doing; and if appropriate, use promotional items to connect the digital to the physical.