The evolution of the internet has created more consumer touch points than ever before, giving advertisers tremendous opportunity when it comes to engaging with their audience. And with the emergence of social media platforms, the messaging isn't limited to a one-way dialogue. Consumers are wielding the digital soap box like universal loudspeakers, and they're not shy about it, either. Savvy advertisers have realized, however, that engaging in the conversation is a powerful and cost effective means to improve their brand popularity and profile. Here are 5 tips for using social media to pump life into a brand's equity:
1. Be there: No brand can afford to be absent from the social media circle. There is no excuse, given that the most prominent platforms are absolutely free to use, aside from the investment of time. Your customers are waiting.
2. Use a real person: Simply creating a profile on a social media site doesn't cut it. An actual person has to be actively participating, posting comments and responding to conversation. The more senior the person, the more credibility and impact the posts will have.
3. Listen: The real trick is for marketers to not only post on social media sites, but to listen to what consumers are saying. Think of the value! Forget focus groups - this is unadulterated conversation about your brand! There is no better insight, so monitor, monitor, monitor!
4. Be real: If something is happening with you brand publicly (especially if it's problematic) address it! You're online to engage in conversations, not to ignore them. Consumers expect accountability and want your point of view.
5. Show some leg: It's important that your posts show some personality. A good balance between corporate speak and human conversation will make your brand more personable. Your audience will find it easier to relate and feel a stronger affinity to your posts and your brand.
Bottom line - social media demands a new level of honesty and commitment from brands who are brave enough to take the plunge. You just need to be willing to engage with your customers, listen to them, and learn from them. The connection can leave an indelible impression, and will breathe new life into your brand.