What does the average person spend 2¼ hours a day doing? Looking at Social Media platforms! Overall, American adults spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media, according to a new study by market-research group Nielsen. That’s up from nine hours, 32 minutes just four years ago
From a business perspective, that gives credence to the need to be seen everywhere online. Without social media presence or worse, with inactive accounts, you potentially harm your reputation and stop the customer journey in its tracks. Today, an active social media presence is taken as a sign of a sound, reliable brand.
The complexion of the customer journey has changed. Modern businesses need to provide information on different social platforms, as consumers are no longer passively waiting for businesses to propose offers and services. With an abundance of accessible information to hand, prospects can self-educate by researching online before they buy. Interestingly, Forbes research revealed that 78% of people say that their buying decisions are influenced by a company’s social media posts.
With information being readily available at the swipe of the screen, anywhere, at any time, the purchasing route is no longer linear. Just as it would appear that a purchasing decision has been reached, new online information can become available that can swing the decision, so in practical terms, organisations need to align their digital and content strategies to ensure that they produce consistent, informative, searchable content.
Of course, to ensure that your posts are well thought out, informative and engaging, embedded within your content strategy should be a content calendar, so that you have a rolling plan of information you want to share, instead of ad hoc updates and random musings. It’s good to keep in mind that visual content works particularly well on social media as it stands out on social feeds. Whatever format you choose to post in, the ultimate aim is for your content to be compelling enough to lead the consumers back to the information they need to make an informed purchasing decision.
Use Social Media To Engage With Your Audience
As well as content being appealing, it needs to be simple for prospects to start interacting with your brand over one of your contact points. Encourage social media users to communicate with you and increase the chance of engagement by asking for questions and feedback. Don’t forget that social media is made for people, so endeavour to create a human connection with social media users. Providing helpful FAQ’s, downloadable information or easy to complete online surveys encourages would be customers to click. By completing a form or similar, the prospect starts to share information with your business about what they are interested in, which gives you an opportunity to connect where, when and how they want, eventually helping to maximize sales! Focus on finding customers who are interested, loyal and engaged. These people are more likely to repost your content, like your posts and become customers.
A social media monitoring tool helps you track mentions of your brand as well as your competitors, so you don’t miss out on opportunities to help existing customers or gain new ones. This tool will give you a sense of what your target audience likes and dislikes. With such a large range of platforms to choose from, it will help you zero in on which platforms you should concentrate your efforts on where you have the highest chance to engage with your audience. Plus, social monitoring helps you mitigate any issues by quickly responding to negative feedback, catching problems before they escalate.
Address The Shift In Power
While in the past companies were largely in control of their communications to customers and prospects, todays’ customers have been empowered by the availability of information and can easily find out about a product or a service. This makes buyers more knowledgeable than ever before. Any business wanting to survive and thrive in this new digital age needs to address this crucial shift in power and recognise the need to use well chosen, social media platforms to their full potential.