Having a bad reputation on social media is worse than having no reputation at all, and the old adage that “all publicity is good publicity” really doesn’t hold true here. Social media is something of a strange animal – but if you can tame it and win its loyalty, social media will not only boost your brand and sales, but become self-perpetuating in terms of increasing your profile, getting people talking, and spreading the word. If you want to learn about the approaches and mistakes that alienate audiences on social media platforms – and how to avoid them – you’ve come to the right place. In this article (at the end) we also look at where social media is heading in 2018. However right now let’s look at our list of five sure-fire ways to alienate your prospects on social media, to help to keep you on the right track.
Viewing social media as a billboard, not a conversation
All of the main and most popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram allow you to sign up and populate your page with content, which should be designed to attract interest, get people talking, and spread the word about you. However, don’t view social media for your business blog or brand as a billboard where you can make statements or loudly proclaim your views and expect other people to get on board with them and support your goals – social media is a conversation, not a soapbox. Failing to engage with your audience and give them reasons to like, share, and comment on your posts, and treating your prospects as demographics rather than people, will soon turn your potential prospects off.
Going overboard with the hard sell
Most people use social media to chill out, socialise, and play games or otherwise entertain themselves, and so taking a hard sell approach or continually spamming the channels that you use with pushy ads and intrusive content will soon cost you fans and followers. Whatever you are selling or promoting, social media success requires personalising your approach to suit the needs and moods of your audience, which means that promoting your brand or offers needs to be handled carefully. If you are trying to promote a business blog, remember that a softly, softly approach is the best way to catch your prospects’ interests and makes them want to find out more.
Losing your temper and getting into arguments
Trolls and troublemakers are an unpleasant fact of online life, and every brand and most individual social media users will fall foul of an internet troll at some point. If someone starts causing trouble or speaking negatively about your brand on your own page or content, how you handle this will make all the difference to how your prospects perceive you. Defending your business is fine, but keep it calm, factual and mannerly – even if you’re not being afforded the same respect. Making a post or firing off a reply when you’re mad will almost certainly come back to bite you further down the line – and even if you delete your comment almost immediately, someone may have already screenshotted and saved it – you can’t un-ring the bell.
Being too personal – or not personal enough
Using posts, trending topics and comments to engage with your audience is one of the keys to social media success – and taking a personal approach to the people that take the time and make the effort to engage with you helps to build brand loyalty. However, being overly personal, nosy, or familiar with people who engage with you can turn your prospects off, and cause them to want to distance themselves from your brand, so keep it professional and avoid DM’ing your prospects or contacting them privately about things if a public response would be more appropriate.
Not giving something back
Finally, one of the most valuable things about social media for business is that if you tackle it the right way, your fans and prospects will do a lot of your work for you, in terms of spreading the word and raising your profile. Give something back from time to time too, in the form of promotions, giveaways and offers, which will not only further raise your profile, but also, reward your loyal fans and give them an incentive to stick with you.
If you ignore your prospects or don’t appreciate the value of your fans and followers, they are likely to go off in search of a competitor who will!
Social Media In 2018 – What’s Next?
So where’s social media heading in 2018 you may ask? Without too much crystal ball gazing we know augmented reality (AR) will play a part. In this article it says it’s likely snapchat and instagram will add filters to support AR so selfies will take on a new purpose with celebs or friends projected into the image.
Talking of images, the quality of photos and videos will be a huge focus for marketers especially for the very popular Instagram stories where content editing using filters occurs after the initial capture. Interestingly Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn all have more followers than Twitter so there’s likely to be some big events happening as Twitter struggles to grow it’s position. A sale or change of focus or both are predicted for this platform.
Live video group hangouts where friends can get together digitally will continue to grow as Generation Zers jump onto platforms like ‘HouseParty’ to socialise with their friends ‘live’. Umm just another reason for not having to leave the house! There’s also Facebook Spaces to consider too in 2018. Facebook owns a VR hardware and software company and as competition for eyeballs gets tighter look out for a virtual reality platform that is sure to also disrupt how we all do business. Exciting times ahead for business, and marketers using social media. There’s plenty of reasons to protect your brand reputation online and dedicate time and investment in your social media presence.
How to Define Your Brand’s “Twitter Voice”
Your Twitter is failing, if you don’t have a strategy and strong brand image behind it.
That’s where your Twitter voice comes in. It’s the strategy and tone that should flow easily through your entire profile. Want to know how to find yours? Read on below.
What Is a Twitter Brand?
To define what a Twitter brand is, let’s look at someone who’s rocking their own unique one. That brand…Wendy’s. The other-wise and previously non-opinionated chain makes a splash on Twitter.
No one was expecting them to “come after” other burger chains or even individual users like they do. It made a lot of people not only laugh but respect Wendy’s more.
And due to the way they conduct themselves on Twitter, we know Wendy’s doesn’t mess around with sub-par ingredients and practices.
Like the time they tweeted about using never frozen beef, unlike other big chains. A twitter user (who has since deactivated their account) tweeted them back saying that was impossible.
Wendy’s fired back a tweet saying something like “don’t blame us because you forgot refrigerators exist”.
A harmless comment in the long run, but it got the point across. We could write a whole article about Wendy’s tweets, but we’ll leave you with one more before we move on.
In a response to Bailey (@Mr._Anderson 36) tweet “@Wendy’s Where’s the beef?” The account replied:
“@Mr_Anderson36 In our cheeseburgers and on our timeline”. In case you’re behind on the times, beef is another term for a drama or disagreement.
Not into the catty stuff? Smart Circle tweets are inspiring, instead.
Defining Your Own Twitter Voice: How to Do It
First thing first, you need to understand yourself as a brand. What’s your image? What’s your brand definition? What’s your mission? If you are or you work at a well-established business, this is probably all wrapped up in your past work.
That means the about page where your mission statement and purpose are, but also the tone in past articles and publications. Even your Instagram captions define and describe your brand.
So if you can’t write out who your brand is and describe it in three ways, do some research. That’s step one.
Step 2: Find Your Audience’s Interests
Wendy’s is lucky in that they have a pretty wide audience. They know that they’re the “one” different competitor between McDonald’s and Burger King. At least that’s how they’ve always marketed themselves.
And they know that their followers see them that way too. If they didn’t, they’d go to one of the other chains instead of Wendy’s. So it was easy for Wendy’s to know that poking fun at the other brands would go over well, as a marketing tactic.
But you may not have that clear cut of an audience and there’s no one secret to finding out what they like. Okay, there is – research and hard work. Check out your current followers and audience. Who do they follow?
Who do they retweet? What tone are those tweets? That’s where you should aim to meet them (where they already are).
Step 3 (The Final Step): Be Consistent
Wendy’s doesn’t always tweet mean things, but if you look through their Twitter, you can definitely see their attitude. You don’t have to be catty or clever all the time but sprinkle those tweets through.
You want people to expect that from you. Deliver it more than or at fifty percent of the time.
Follow these steps and you’ll find your Twitter voice. It’ll take research and practice, but you’ll come off as and be more authentic along the way.
Want to know that we practice what we preach? Follow us on Twitter.
How Social Media Can Influence Buying Decisions?
Social media started out as an online platform for people to share personal photos and communicate with others. However, it has systemically evolved to become the holy grail of marketing.
Recent research reveals that social media is playing a major role on influencing buying decisions. This means that it’s about time that companies start paying more attention to their social strategy.
It’s unfortunate to see companies diving into social media marketing without any clear strategy. These firms only end up with disappointment. There’s strong evidence that shows that if social media is approached correctly, it can influence people’s buying decisions. But, how does social media influence buying decisions?
In order for you to understand how social media influences buying decisions, you should comprehend the psychology behind decisions. Buying decisions are much more complex than you think. Social media has gained a lot of traction for influencing consumer decisions because of these reasons:
Emotions can Influence Decisions
Buyers are influenced by emotions. People make buying decisions using both the right and left regions of the brain. They aren’t robots, so it’s highly unlikely that they’ll make decisions based only on analytical and logical basis. Think about when you’re buying a smartphone. You may have seen a photo of a cell phone on a social media post by the company selling it and then rationalized your buying decisions by checking its specs. This can happen with anyone.
Indeed, many people who purchase something say that they landed on it and had not thought about buying something like it. The reason is that emotions can sometimes affect our decisions and we can end up buying something we hadn’t planned.
We Are Naturally Suspicious
Sales representatives usually find it hard to convince people to buy. That’s because we’re naturally suspicious. Strong emphasis must be placed on establishing trust and credibility with customers before one can pitch their idea. In this regard, social media is extremely effective as people trust a product when they see that their family or friend have bought the same. They’re influenced by people they can trust.
People feel safer to move in large groups. That’s because human beings generally have crowd mentality. Thus, it’s easier to sway people when they’re in group. That is one of the reasons social media is so powerful in influencing buying decisions. People will be convinced to buy something if they see their peers purchasing the same. All a company has to do is show them how their friends and peers have benefited from the same product. Thus, positive customer reviews are extremely important for social media marketing.
These are just a few of the ways in which social media influences people’s buying decisions. If you’re looking to promote your product or service, you should consider using social media as it has the ability to reach potential customers and influence their purchase decision.
Which Social Media Platform Performs The Best For Start Ups
Social media is an essential marketing tool for startups. It’s a great way to get your message out there for not much money, although it does take some effort to get noticed. When you launch your business, it’s a good idea to establish a presence on social media as soon as you can.
Stretching yourself across every social media platform isn’t really possible, especially when you’re short on time and money, so choosing the best one or two platforms to focus on is smart. There are several big name players in social media, and choosing between them take some thought.
Does One Social Media Platform Work for All Startups?
The first question that you might have is whether there’s one social media platform that will work for all startups. If there’s a king of all social media, you want to be on it. However, there isn’t exactly one social media platform that will work for everyone. Each platform has different benefits and it suitable for various content and differing audiences.
B2B brands might find that professional network LinkedIn is the best option for them. Fashion retailers could find a highly visual platform like Instagram to be the right choice for them. You can expand your social media presence later, but if you want to start with just one, you need to think about which one is best for your startup specifically.
What to Consider to Choose the Best Network
You might want to take the overall numbers of each of the highest performing platforms. If you’re looking for the biggest audience, you’ll find it on Facebook where more than two billion people can be found each month. It’s followed by the likes of YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram and Tumblr. However, numbers aren’t everything. It’s not just about founding the most users, but also the most suitable audience for your startup. When you’re trying to decide which platform to start with, you should consider the demographics of your target audience.
Younger social media users are increasingly choosing platforms like Instagram and Snapchat over Facebook. Pinterest has more female users than male, while LinkedIn is clearly better for targeting other businesses and professionals.
You need to think about your goals before you choose a social media platform. What sort of content will you be sharing? How do you want to communicate with your audience?
The Benefits of the Major Players
Every social media platform offers different benefits to startups. It’s important to know how each one could help you to reach your audience and promote your startup business.
Facebook has the most users of any social network, but it’s important to recognize that things are starting to shift. There’s a great range of users across different ages, locations and genders, but younger people are starting to move away from it. Facebook is excellent for posting a range of different content, from links and text posts to images and videos. It also has its own PPC advertising platform, and you can pay to promote your posts too.
LinkedIn is best for any startups trying to reach professionals and other businesses. If you’re promoting a B2B business, looking for staff or perhaps trying to connect with other business people for funding purposes, LinkedIn is a great choice.
Twitter can help you to get in touch with professionals, but it’s good for B2C brands too. The short posts can be good for conversation and banter, and several brands have found success with humorous Twitter interactions. Twitter doesn’t have the highest user base, but there are still plenty of people on there.
Instagram is a visual platform, perfect for sharing photos, videos and Stories, which lets you share a series of photos or video clips. The audience on Instagram is a little younger than some other platforms, so it’s ideal for finding a younger audience.
Using Social Media Together With Your Blog
Blog posts provide the perfect content to share on social media. A business blog is an essential content marketing strategy, so get started by setting up a blog on your website. By writing regular posts and sharing them on your social media channels, you can bring more people to your site. When you share on social media, for example by creating a Facebook post or tweeting a link to your blog post, you can use social media tools to monitor the performance of your post and see how people are engaging in it. For example, Facebook offers you analytics so you can see how many people have clicked on your link, on your post or on your page.
You need to choose the right social media platform for your startup by considering your audience. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn may be better for sharing blog posts than more visual networks.
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