Dear Brand, Do You Know, Why I Follow You?
When it comes to social media marketing, brands often don’t know where to draw the line between hard selling and nurturing a potential customer base.
The followers who follow a brand on social media have an agenda of their own. Do marketers give their needs enough space and importance in their social media marketing plans?
At times customers follow a brand on social media because they want to have a direct channel of communication with the brand to share their grievances or queries and issues. Some follow for product updates or quirky content and some because of brand loyalty.
The motivation behind each follow might be different, it pays to spend time understanding your follower base so that you can use your social media accounts to share content, that not just talks about your products but about values your brand identifies with, about issues and initiatives your brand supports, the quality of service one can expect from your brand, your brand’s larger vision and how you care about your customers. It all helps in building your brand in a more realistic and wholesome way, one which will appeal to your potential customer base.
Two simple things brands can do to engage with their followers that helps in better understanding and creating a winning brand image are:
- Send out a direct message or reply to your follower, when they follow your brand’s official account, welcoming them to the community and ask them if there is anything you can help with. This one interaction takes you from just being a Name or logo to a real entity. The answer from the follower might help you understand the intent for their follow. It is a win-win.
- Always respond positively on your Brand’s profile page , no matter how irate a customer may sound. Your answers are a reflection of your brand’s values. Also being patient and responding quickly, helps ease the situation. The customer wants other followers to read the complaints/interactions and extend their support. As a brand you don’t want to fan opposition that too on a public platform.
Having said that, as a marketer, I often think if there could be an ideal mix of content that can help me achieve a fine balance between generating leads (potential customers) and nurturing leads on social media.
In an article on Market Hub blog, Steve Arnold makes a very interesting argument,
“Your followers aren’t on social media to hear your sales pitch…
Besides, most of your followers won’t buy from you anyway. Not until they know, like, and trust you. Asking for the direct sale too early can be a turn off and ruin your chances of a future sale.
So, what should you do?
Follow the rule of thirds.
⅓ of your social content promotes your business, converts readers, and generates profit. ⅓ of your social content should surface and share ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded businesses. ⅓ of your social content should be based on personal interactions and build your personal brand.
You don’t need to follow it to a tee. Just use it as a general guideline when thinking about your social campaigns.”
Over the years, I have come to realize, there is no holy grail, when it comes to social media marketing. You can never really have a perfect social media marketing plan, this is one document which has to be a work in progress, evolving as you gain better understanding of your follower base through your social interactions and of your brand, as perceived by this follower base. The content, the strategy, the platforms themselves keep evolving, success lies in being able to keep pace with the changes….