This is a guest post by Andrew Mentock from MoneyNomad.com.
For most brands, social media dictates how they interact with potential customers. Few brands are using social media in the way it was intended.
The problem is that most brands view social media as just another channel on which to advertise. But social media isn’t meant to be a channel — it’s meant to be a social network. Instead, brands need to use social media to provide a service to its followers that will build a community.
If they don’t, the brand’s followers are far more likely to disengage or even unfollow social media accounts associated with the brand. That’s the exact opposite of what they want to happen.
There are several reasons why you and your brand should listen to this advice. Treating your followers as a community will not only prevent you from losing followers, but it will help you gain them as well.
Here are four things brands can do improve their authentic presence on social media — and win Millennials back for good.
These are real people, not just “reach.”
When a brand uses social media, it’s easy for them to see it as a way to reach people they want to sell products or services to. Unfortunately, their followers become faceless and names accounts that contribute to their overall number of followers.
In this case, the brand no longer looks at its followers as actual people. If you don’t think of your followers as people, you won’t treat them like they expect; this is an enormous problem because when you treat people like numbers, they stop engaging. When they stop engaging, they certainly don’t purchase your products or encourage others to do so.
It’s crucial to note that social media advertising is much different than print or television advertising — mostly because traditional ads don’t work on Millennials. Instead, you have to master the art of the digital experience. More on how to do this is below.
Foster authentic brand loyalty.
Influencer marketing is snowballing. It’s now acceptable to pay a well-known social media personality to review your product. It’s an efficient way to engage millennials, who claim only 1% of ads influence them.
However, if you foster an authentic brand loyalty, influencers won’t be the only people to endorse your products. Instead, your followers will happily do that for you organically.
There are many ways for you to engage your followers such as using visualizations, giving them a voice for issues that they are passionate about (doesn’t have to be political), and having your brand advocate for a cause.
If you do some of these things, your followers are much more likely to take you seriously, rather than as someone who is just trying to sell them something.
The best side of social media is the community side.
Most brands perceive social media accounts as a necessary evil to garner a more significant influence on the world wide web. However, if you focus on engaging with your followers, using social media can actually be quite fulfilling.
The most fulfilling aspect of social media for a brand is when it engages with its community. Rather than being driven by profit, your company can be driven by usefulness and having an actual impact on the world.
Just look at some of the fun things Starbucks, Netflix, and Redbull are doing with their social media accounts. They’re tweeting picture and videos that are hilarious and inventive; I’m sure coming up with those posts was entertaining for the creators. I mean, how could sharing videos of awesome dirt bike runs not be a blast?:
— Red Bull TV (@RedBullTV) October 27, 2017
Consider the problems you can solve, not products you can sell.
A person is only going to follow your brand if you can add value to their life. That’s why it’s important to figure out what problems of theirs you can solve and not just about the products that you can sell them. For instance, many brands use social media to find customers that are having trouble using one of their products or a related product.
It can also be helpful for you to review related products as well, but make sure you take the time to understand the positive and negative aspects of a product — as Investment Zen does with a review of Swagbucks here. It’s important to know that yes, you can make money with Swagbucks, while also recognizing that it may take several hours to make your first five bucks.
If you follow this advice, you should be well on your way to using social media the way it was intended to be. You’ll also be able to increase your social media community with followers who care more about your brand – there is no downside.