Marketing Through Social Media:
Establish Relationship with Audience
Social media is here to stay, and will only keep evolving. Understanding how to market with it is crucial, and beyond that, it's a vital tool for establishing a relationship with your audience.
Establishing Relationship Through Social Media Marketing
Before the advent of the internet, and before the birth of social media, traditional marketing was the norm. Companies spent billions of dollars in creating advertising campaigns for their products either on television, radio stations or on billboards.
Social media changed the rules of marketing, and it helped companies save costs by creating a platform where they have billions of people around the world who connect on different social media every day. It took marketing from being merely a tool for introducing a product to a tool for building a relationship with customers.
However, as cost-effective as social media is, it poses the challenge of streamlining your content to a specific audience. Marketing to the wrong audience will cost you time and effort, the same as building a relationship with the wrong people.
Successful social media marketing means marketing to the right people, giving them what they want, creating clear goals, and serving up relevant and compelling content. But beyond the success of a marketing campaign, you need to establish a relationship with your audience, and thankfully, the ways to do that are quite easy to follow.
How to Establish a Relationship with Your Audience
Market to a Specific Audience
As mentioned earlier, one of the challenges of marketing through social media is finding and focusing on the right audience. With about four billion people in the world active on different social media platforms, knowing who your customers are will go a long way in having a successful social media campaign, and in establishing a relationship with them.
Thus, first, you have to discover what social media platform your customers are more active on, and when you do, focus your marketing efforts and relationship building on that platform. Note that you can have customers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at the same time; the trick is building a community and concentrating your efforts on them.
Share Your Story
Marketing today has gone beyond introducing products or services to people to establishing relationships. People want companies to see them as more than a milking cow to make profits from; they want a bond with those they patronize. With this understanding, companies have translated from being soulless corporations to having an identity their customers can relate with.
Therefore, while marketing through social media, share your story with your audience. It can be your origin story, how you created a product, or how you successfully found the solution to a nagging problem. It also involves getting your employees to write personalized content or make videos that you put up on your social media account.
The above establishes a relationship with your audience, shows them you are interested in connecting with them, and provides insight into the company they are buying from. Note that your stories should be short, precise, and compelling.
Get in Front of Your Story
One thing is to tell your story yourself, and another is to have people say it for you. When marketing through social media, a lot of things can go wrong. One of them is that it gives people unlimited power to sell you either in a good light or a bad light, thus you always have to be one step ahead.
Bad news travels fast, and with social media as the designated vehicle, it goes even quicker. Therefore, when there's a negative story about your company, product, or services, don't delay in nipping it in the bud. Ignoring such sends the message that you are not interested in establishing a relationship with your audience, and they'll move away to a competitor who is.
Make Your Company Visible
The visibility of a company is essential. As mentioned earlier, it's not all about showing off your products or services; customers want to know who they are buying from, so show them.
Share posts with photos of your staff and top executives, and include their bio. If you are launching a new product, share details of the team that worked on it, from the least to the greatest, and let your audience know their inputs. It shows you're interested in carrying them along. A company can also be visible by finding out who its audience follows, and following some of them.
Create a Community
Marketing through social media and establishing relationships with your audience is about building a community of people. A company's products or services are the common denominators between it and its customers, and it is what it capitalizes on to form a community.
Making your audience feel part of your community will breed trust and loyalty and gives you unpaid advertising through referrals. The latter is more effective than every marketing content a company can come up with, as individuals believe personal testimonies, than the most compelling content.
Listen to Your Audience
The only thing it takes is paying attention to the needs of your audience. No matter how excellent your product is, and how well-put-together the content of your marketing is, if it is against what your audience wants, it will fail, and at the same time, show you don't take their opinions and feedback seriously.
Therefore, create content that appeals to your audience's feelings, show them you are listening, and interested in providing solutions to the problems they pointed out and value their input.
One highlight of marketing through social media is that you get to reward your audience. You can do this with themed giveaway dates, or offer a discount, coupon, or gift cards to the first people to respond to your posts, repost, or successfully tag their friends to follow your page. It's a way of saying thank you, not only for their patronage but for spending time to connect and let you establish a relationship with them.
Start Establishing Relationships
People are interested in connecting with brands on social media; they are more ready for you to market to them than you are to give your pitch. But in marketing, establish relationships that will translate into long-term profits for your company.
Note that individuals are more likely to buy from brands they feel a connection to; it's the reason why people eat in the same restaurant for years or use a specific product from a particular company with no desire to change. Remember, it is about establishing relationships and showing your audience that you care about them.
Henry Thompson is a journalist who enjoys covering topics of home security and home renovation. Over the course of his career, he has been contributing to various media publications, and now he is running the blog homenetrouter.com where he writes about healthy living, DIY, and home security.