Social media is a powerful marketing tool because it helps you connect on a whole new level.
Many of the most frequently used digital marketing channels are about getting information out to an audience. These include Google ads, retargeting ads, and even SEO (search engine optimization). While they’re all incredible tools to help you get your name out there and gain more visibility, the one area all these channels are lacking in is the personal connection.
Sure, you can write a blog or create an ad that connects with your audience on a deeper, more personal level, but it’s still a one-way street as far as communication is concerned. With social media marketing, on the other hand, you’ll have a whole new way to build and maintain connections with your audience — which is something no other marketing channel can compete with.
When you do it right, social media marketing can help you build next-level connections with your customers and anyone else in your audience like never before, and that will help to establish loyalty and trust in your brand. But, here’s the thing. Merely having a presence on Facebook and Instagram isn’t enough; you also have to know how to connect with your audience.
Tips for Building Better Connections on Social Media
#1. If all you’re doing is self-promotion, you’re doing it wrong.
Don’t get me wrong, self-promotion is essential to growing your brand, and it’s a necessary evil, especially in the beginning, when you’re still growing your audience and trying to get your name out there. However, that doesn’t mean that self-promotion should be the only thing you do on social media.
If the only thing you do on social media is promote your business, it’s going to get monotonous and boring pretty quickly, and you’ll probably find that a lot of your followers will jump ship before too long.
Keep your audience engaged and show them a different side of your personality by posting about things that matter to you, like social issues and other life-related matters. And, don’t be afraid to show the world your humorous side by posting memes or hilarious cat videos — anything you think your audience will enjoy!
#2. Don’t just talk at your followers; show them.
In addition to being the perfect space to show your audience a different side of your business and to connect with them on a more personal level, social media is also the perfect place to share content that goes beyond mere words.
Video can be a powerful marketing tool when used on any channel, but when it comes to social media, its effect is undeniable.
Did you know that approximately 64 percent of consumers say they were influenced to make a purchase by watching a Facebook video? Sixty percent of Facebook users also said that they watched branded videos on Facebook every single day.
The bottom line is that watching a video is simply more entertaining than reading a paragraph, and when given the choice, most people will choose the video. That’s why, instead of merely telling the world about your products or services, you should make it a point to show the benefits of them in a video!
#3. Give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your business.
The more bought-in people are to your business, the more loyal they’ll be. That means that, whenever the time comes when they need your products or services, you’ll be the brand they think of first. But, how do you get that buy-in from your customers? One of the best ways is to make them feel like they’re a part of the team by giving them a behind-the-scenes look at your business.
There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes of your business that the public isn’t privy too, but there doesn’t have to be. In fact, when you make it a point to share videos of your team working on the latest project, celebrating at your annual company party, or volunteering at the local soup kitchen, for example, you’ll also build trust in your brand and a stronger connection with your followers.
No matter how you choose to do so, giving your followers the inside scoop helps to humanize your brand and to make your customers feel like they’re a part of it.
#4. Engage with your followers!
As I mentioned in the introduction to this article, most digital marketing channels are a one-way street. While they make it easy to tell the world about who you are and what you offer, not many of them make it possible to actually build a real relationship with your audience. Social media changes all of that, and you can make the most out of it by actually engaging with your followers.
Whether you’re posting a video tutorial or sharing a meme that made you laugh out loud, when you post on social media, you’re opening yourself up to the possibility that your followers will respond. And, when they do, it’s important that you keep the conversation going.
The ability to actually have a dialogue with your customers is the number one reason so many businesses value social media in the first place, but it’s essential that you get it right.
When you’re talking with your audience on social media, it’s important to remember that the entire world is watching. This is not the time to make excuses for a job that’s not up to a client’s standards or to get into a public argument with someone. Though it’s important to respond promptly, it’s more important that, if you’re upset, you give yourself time to cool off so that you can respond in a professional manner.
#5. Encourage user-generated content.
One of the best parts about social media marketing is that it makes it easy for your customers to market for you! Whether it’s in the form of an online review, a video showing off a new product, or before and after photos of a project, your customers are generating all kinds of content for your business; you just need to know how to leverage it.
Starbucks’ White Cup Contest is a beautiful example of how brands can encourage customers to generate more content. In 2014, Starbucks asked its customers to design their own template that would be used on a limited-edition cup by sharing their doodles online. In just three weeks, they had almost 4,000 entries!
User-generated content gets your customers involved in your brand, and it has the added benefit of being shared and seen by their friends and followers as well.
Social media offers businesses a whole new way to connect with both customers and prospective customers alike, but it’s important to know how to make the most of it.