To engage your audience in the social media universe, you need to develop a likable content. In April 2010, Facebook introduced the like button. Since then, members and organizations have added this feature to upward of two million websites. The like button enables Facebook’s more than 600 million users to show their online friends the content they prefer. Moreover, this function provides dynamic, positive online word-of-mouth marketing. Other social networks now also feature their own versions of Facebook’s like button.
The rise of social networks is taking place as traditional media– television, radio, newspapers, and magazines– lose viewers, listeners, and readers. To reach today’s consumers, marketing professionals must not only move their messages to the social media but also develop a likable content. The most popular social networks include–
- Facebook –The internet’s most prominent social media website, Facebook, offers several useful elements including individual profiles. When users accept one another as friends, they gain access to each other’s information streams and, often, to each other’s friends. Anyone can start a Facebook interest group on any topic or set up a fan page, a popular move for companies, organizations, public figures, and celebrities. Users can add social plug-in buttons, such as the Like button, to their individual websites, so people can jump to their Facebook page. Also, representatives of any location can set up a Facebook Places page. Marketers often create Facebook fan pages for their companies and add social plug-ins from Facebook to their websites. Facebook is a terrific tool for connecting with your targeted audience and consumers.
- Twitter– This microblogging service lets you communicate in short messages or tweets, each a maximum of 140 characters. To tweet someone directly, start your message with the @ sign followed by the person’s Twitter account name. Use Twitter’s search function to find out what people are talking about online, or what they are saying about your brand or products. Twitter can help you develop valid insights about consumers who buy products and services like yours.
- YouTube– You can use the web’s most popular video-sharing website to showcase your products and services. Some YouTube videos go viral, but that should not be your goal. Rather, work to ensure that your target audience sees your videos.
- LinkedIn– This online electronic Rolodex includes more than 100 million businesspeople and professionals. It is ideal for recruitment, retention, and industry collaboration as well as for connecting with your professional colleagues. Business-to-business users love LinkedIn.
- Blogosphere– The Internet currently houses 150 million blogs. So, why not set one up to showcase your brand’s offerings and expertise? Update your content at least twice weekly.
- Specialized Social Networks– The web offers hundreds more specialized social networks that offer niche services. Flickr is for professional and amateur photographers. Angie’s List, TripAdvisor, and Yelp are review-style social networks offering niche services that enable you to communicate with highly targeted consumer groups.
Develop A Likable Content With These Social Media Strategies
The social media universe is in a continuous state of flux, with thousands of different choices and exciting additions appearing all the time. To determine which options, or which combination of options, you should use to promote your brand, consider these proven social media strategies–
- Listen first and never stop listening. The first action step to help you develop a likable content online is to listen. People online communicate back and forth daily about companies, brands, products, and services, including yours. Listen and learn from them. Social networks are engagement media, and to engage, you must listen. Go to your preferred social network. In the search function, type the keywords that matter most to you. Pay close attention to the text conversations you uncover.
- Define your target audience better than ever. Social networks develop comprehensive demographic information about their users. The Facebook ad platform lets marketers precisely target its 600-million user base at no charge. LinkedIn offers similar options. On the other hand, Twitter allows you to find people who expressly request information about your product or service. Type whatever you have to sell in the search bar to target consumers who seek your kind of product or service. For your contacts to be commercially productive, you must develop a likable content to allure consumers to your offerings. Focus on what content would make you click the like button.
- Think and act like your target audience. Communicate about information that matters to your consumers.
- Invite your customers to be your first fans. Invite your employees, vendors and business partners. Previously, links– independent websites connecting with yours– mattered. Now, your number of likes means everything. The more likes you secure; the more views you get. To cultivate likes, develop a value proposition that offers a benefit, such as, offering to answer questions or supply new information.
Advertising on social networks helps you achieve maximum impact. Use stories– your social currency– to get your online message across. Solicit your customers to share their stories online. Quickly respond to all online comments, good and bad. If you make a mistake online, admit it and move on.
- Create a true dialogue with, and between, your customers. Demonstrate a sincere interest in what consumers communicate. To guide these conversations, set up a Facebook community for your brand. Then you can engage people who are interested in your brand and give them the opportunity to connect with other like-minded individuals. Customers use online communities to help each other– for example, by offering solutions to problems that customer service departments usually handle. Online customer engagement and the development of a helpful branded community on Facebook does not just happen. You must assign one or more professionals within your organization to create and run your online community.
- Be authentic. The social media universe provides an opportunity for your brand to handle things better. The more personal you permit your online customer care representatives to be, the more authentic they will appear to customers.
- Don’t sell! Just make it easy and compelling for customers to buy. Retailers strive to make in-store purchasing as simple as possible. Do the same for your online customers. Some online merchants now enable Facebook members to purchase their goods directly from the members’ individual Facebook news feeds, though these savvy merchants do not try to sell merchandise within Facebook. You must walk this line if you set up sales activities on any social media network.
Don’t be afraid to give away value online, such as your knowledge and expertise, in order to build credibility and trust. Ask online users questions to find out what they like– for example, “What would you like to see more of in this community?” Work to develop a likable content– a more exciting, compelling online content than users expect.
These tactics can help you accomplish your online commercial objectives. Start by learning everything you can about Facebook, the most dominant, influential social network. Make likeability your bedrock social media strategic principle. Develop a likable content. Use business practices that people online will like. Ask yourself if the content you create and the social media practices you follow are something you would like if you were an online user. If so, you’re on your way to social networking nirvana. To help you with your social media branding, here’s a step-by-step checklist.