With today’s marketplace consisting of fast real-time information delivered by advocates and whistleblowers, brands are constantly being scrutinized for their practices. The public now has the power to gauge whether or not they are acting responsibly. In moments, a brand’s trustworthiness can be called in to question due to the speed of technology in the digital world. Brands are also having a tough time navigating through all this noise in efforts to build a trusting relationship with their stakeholders. There are hundreds of ways to break trust with a consumer, but what can a brand do to help build a trusting relationship?
We can all agree that when it comes to marketing, 2009 was the year of social media. A recent Marketing Profs article provided statistics showing a dramatic increase in the number of business utilizing social media to increase brand awareness and sell products last year. It seems a lot of companies decided to dive into social media because it’s the “in” thing, and forgot about their bottom line. Let’s face it, you can post, tag and tweet all you want, but if your efforts don’t produce results then you are out of luck when it comes time to justify your budget to the executives.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that communication is a two way street and social media is no different. Engaging your audience is perhaps the most important aspect to any social media campaign. People interested in your product or service don’t subscribe to your list, follow you or become your fan only because you ask them to. Just as we seek a return on investment for marketing dollars, our followers seek a return on their time invested.
Success in social media can easily be achieved by engaging your audience. Take a look at the 5 tips below and incorporate them into your social media strategy to produce measurable results.
- Keep an eye on your public profiles– Read comments, messages and questions posted on your profile to see what your audience wants to tell you directly
- Use social media monitoring tools- Utilize some of the many monitoring tools available to see what your audience is telling others about your brand
- Respond to questions and comments- When someone asks you a question, respond… and do it quickly! Depending on the network you are using, low retention rates are something to keep in mind. Social media adds a whole new meaning to “real-time” information and if a potential customer wants to know something they want it now.
- Utilize surveys or polls- Customers want to know that their opinions matter. Spice things up a bit and change your tone by asking them what they think. Running a successful survey will improve participation and lead to a positive view of your brand.
- Run promotions specific to your social network- What better way to add value than providing your audience with special discounts just for listening? Be sure to track sources if linking to a landing page so you can fulfill your promise.