Social media is about more then PR and marketing for brands. It is increasingly becoming an important tool for brands to communicate with their customers. Social media in Australia is continuing to grow, with Facebook and Twitter leading the way. A Nielsen poll found that over 65% of internet users use social media, with 73% reading reviews, participating in discussions and commenting on brands, products and services at some stage. What’s surprising is that there are still a number of companies who are yet to embrace social media.
With many different social media outlets available today, from Twitter and Pinterest to Tumblr, using social media can be cost effective for businesses compared to traditional marketing and advertising approaches. As well as being cost effective, tweets, blog posts and comments enable businesses to create a community and offer their fans information, feedback or assistance whilst still promoting their products and services online. This online community allows for businesses to expand their reach and develop connections with potential clients and customers.
Although social media is sometimes considered “easy”, it is important for a business to correctly assess what social media can do for them and how they can use it to communicate with their customers. If not, it can lead to wasted opportunities and PR disasters. Therefore businesses need to firstly think about the following:
- Who is the target audience? Without correctly identifying a target audience, social media will be a waste of time as the content will not match the needs of those interested in the products or services.
- What will be the content on social media? Content for social media can be creative and fun but it needs to be tailored to the audience. Meaning the content for Skittle’s Facebook page is going to be very different from the content on the Commonwealth Bank’s Facebook page. By effectively tailoring content, businesses are able to broaden their reach and expand on opportunities.
- Competitor analysis-Who are the competitors and how are they using social media? Monitoring what competitors do online is just as important as knowing what competitors are doing on more traditional mediums. Not having social media when a competitor does not only leaves a business out of the loop but gives its competitor the chance to engage current and potential customers.
- The handling of negative feedback- It is important to have policies in place to help deal with negative comments. By having these policies in place it gives a business the ability to respond quickly. This allows a business to effectively manage the compliant fast and with minimal impact on the brand.
With 43% of all online consumers following brands social media pages and with over 15% of 16-24 year olds preferring to receive customer service via social media over any other method, it crucial and important for brands to seriously consider the impact social media can have on their business.
How important do you think social media is for a brand?
What brands do you think do social media well?
Kate and Stormettes