How Social Media has revolutionised the way companies communicate
Recently Facebook celebrated its 14th anniversary.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of the most popular social media, shared in his Facebook profile the need to keep working on connecting the world. But social networks not only bring people closer in spite borders and oceans in between, but also companies around the globe that can seize all the advantages that social networks offer to reach out to customers and interact with them on a very low budget. Moreover, social networks also help you get to know the target audience better and facilitate better communication and engagement.
The story is well known. Facebook was launched by a Harvard student from his room. When the platform started gaining users, they realised that the servers were getting expensive and they will need some source of funding. And that is how advertising got into the worldwide used social media.
I am sure, you have already noticed that every time you open your Facebook account, you are the target of dozens of advertisements that are personalised according to your hobbies and passions. As you might have thought, they have been made and designed especially for you. Nevertheless, social networks have led to another type of advertisement that goes beyond the simple fact of persuading the action of purchasing. It helps companies build and reinforce relationships, getting back from customers not only feedback, but also ideas and suggestions to improve their communication strategies.
Internet users spend over 30% of their online time surfing through social media platforms.
Companies have witnessed the benefits of reaching their target audience, interacting with them and creating a community where communication is fluid, engaging, in real time and works both ways — enabling a dialogue between organisations and consumers. They are able to leave their feedback and comment on the organisation’s posts, influencing enormously the effectivity of the message. On the other hand, this makes it difficult to forecast how the audience will react. They have the power to respond and interact with the ad or with the company, or simply ignore it. Companies expect their customers to interact and participate in the communication process, making it more effective. Moreover, how customers feel and think towards the organisation will influence its public perception, which in the end, would determine the success or failure of any company.
On the other hand, organisations that exist in the market, exist if they are on Facebook, or any other social media. And just because of it, corporate communication will never be the same again. Emojis, videos, quizzes, surveys, etc. are now part of corporate’s interaction with customers. Audience is now asked to complete the communication process with their participation and engagement. Furthermore, the consumer’s feedback and opinion towards the organisations become really valuable.
What’s different with the audience in the middle of the twentieth century is that today, people do not like to be persuaded. Everyday, we receive dozens, hundreds, thousands of offers from advertisements. The offer is always so diverse and wide, that we have the chance to choose what we want or need to buy. But especially, today’s audience knows when they are being persuaded. And honestly speaking, they don’t like it. Moreover, they avoid being convinced to buy something that they don’t need. Accordingly, marketing is nowadays more complex than ever before. Getting the customer’s attention is the result of a long process that requires time, patience and tons of creativity.
And it is in that sense, where social media plays an important role to come closer to the audience that companies want to reach. And beyond, the fact that apart from being a great strategy for companies to communicate and interact with their audience, they require little financial investment, that can bring great results.
HOW UMBLER UNLEASHES ON ITS SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS
At Umbler, we all know the potential of social media. That’s why we have a specialist in Social Media, who is responsible for publishing on our social media, as well as interacting with the clients through these media.
Here, you can find some tips to make your audience keep an eye on your social media profile, invite them to interact and share your posts, and also give them the chance to leave feedback that must be answered on time.
- The first step is to know which channels your target audience use more often. According to Statista, Facebook is the most widely used media around the globe, but in some countries other channels like LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter may also have certain importance.
- Once you have chosen the channels, plan your communication strategy synchronising all the different social media that you want to use. It is important to open an account on the social media channels that you are able to keep updated. Better to have two or three that have constantly interesting material published, than having a lot of them without any activity. There are some tools that will help you with it. We recommend you to have a look at Hootsuite and Buffer to manage and schedule your posts in all the networks that your company has a profile.
- Do not forget to define the tone and language, with which you want to address your target to gain coherence. If it’s going to be informal, then use emojis, gifs, memes and other images that translate the message into a funny and friendly communication. Remember that humorous images or jokes spread rapidly among users. This will keep a door open for your audience to feel free to interact and comment.
- Be creative! Show your audience that you care about the communication and that you prepare original and creative content to make them keep an eye on your posts. Engaging content might sound like a big challenge, but the results can impact positively in the relationship with your customers and in the final outcome. Use original images, videos, share your blog posts and podcasts, etc. But, don’t forget that visual communication is far more effective than screeds! According to HubSpot, 90% of information assimilated by the brain is visual, being processed 60,000X faster than text.
- Follow a calendar with stellar topics organised monthly. So that all your communication has a central theme in common, which can change every month. That applies not only to your social media, but also to your website blog, YouTube channel, etc.
- Remember the potential of your social media to get your audience’s feedback and therefore engagement. Call them to complete a satisfaction survey, to give their opinion about some corporate activities, or to participate in quizzes. Surprisingly, an average quiz is shared nearly 2000 times on social media, and are a great strategy to differentiate from competitors. It has been proven that interactive content grabs attention quickly and effectively. Make them realise that your company is all about them and how they feel towards the services offered. Therefore, they realise the importance of speaking out about any inconvenience.
Once you start using your social networks you will notice when your audience is more active. That will help you to plan a calendar to publish future posts, focus on the topics according to your audience interaction and what they like most. Try to change the time and days of publication to avoid being repetitive. All that will help you to generate the maximum engagement and get better results.
Summarising, social media has completely changed the way we do business and interact with our customers, from the moment advertisement was introduced to Facebook. Companies of all sizes use social networks to improve their corporate campaigns. It is a matter of testing and implementing, as well as checking how your target audience better engage. It is very easy to unleash all the potential of social media for your business! All you need is paying careful attention to your audience and what they like.
If you wish to learn more on this topic, we highly recommend you to check out the blog Socialnomics created by Erik Qualman about how technologies influence businesses nowadays. You will find statistics, studies, short stories and many more, all related to the social networks applied to the business world.