Being a part of the social media culture, your brand may have a bit of an identity crisis. Should your focus be on consumer engagement and building trust and a sense of community, or purely on advertising?
In order to have a legitimate social media presence, your brand has to be more than just a brand. You have to think and act as quickly as your consumers and fans. Today’s consumers are witty, impatient, and are quick to Like, Dislike, Follow, or drop your brand from their interests lists. Pretty petty, you might think…but can you blame them? It’s very easy to follow the lead of the giant brands in social media and remain loyal, unquestioning fans and customers. But if your brand hasn’t gained the unwavering trust of the consumer just yet, what have your virtual followers got to stick around for?
This infographic shows just how much of an impact social media has on the consumer:
Create a Brand Personality
Put your trust in your social media team and communicate with them on a regular basis. Your people are the most important part of your business, after all. Develop a brand culture that your team can feed off of and create a voice for. Put yourself in your brand’s shoes. How do you make a good impression? How can you make your fans like your “personality?” Shane Adams, social media manager for AMC Theatres, blogged about how without creative license and a distinct voice, the fun back and forth banter between corporate giants Oreo and AMC Theatres that blew up on Twitter might never have happened. Creative freedom, the right timing, and a voice that fits are the keys to communication on social media platforms. These two brands have a shared “personality,” fun and light, and used this to communicate with each other, essentially turning their brands into living, breathing, social media entities.
Find Your Brand Brethren and Join Forces
Think of it as free sponsorship…a brand partnership with no contractual agreement. It’s really a match made in heaven and you can pick and choose as you see fit. Like, Follow, Share, and engage with these brands that you respect and share similar business practices with, and you are building a network, exposing your brand to an exponential amount of potential fans and consumers. Fans of other brands will be exposed to your brand, and will introduce you into their network.
Now That You’ve Built Your Community, Think Like a Consumer
Online brand interactions are in real-time, and that’s the way today’s consumer likes it. You’ve got to be quick-witted just like your target consumer. This is where your social media team comes in. If you communicate to them just how you want to come across in the social media world, you will have no problem trusting them to make split-second decisions, bringing excitement, awareness, and relevancy to your brand. Whether negative or positive, your team will know how to deal with communication as it happens and capitalize on every opportunity. Your fans will feel that here-and-now engagement and will want to be a part of it. Take the time to share relevant topics with your new network, and the connections will help your company grow.