If this long, tumultuous year has taught us anything, crisis can strike at any time. When you are a brand trying to rapidly re-orient your business model all while struggling to build and maintain brand loyalty, investing time and money revamping your social media strategy might seem ludicrous. But it is not. In fact, taking your social media to the next level can be the difference between surviving a crisis and failure.
On average, 87% of all retail purchases made in the UK are made online: a whopping 178 billion pounds. Your competitors are all already online, with their Instagrams’ and Tik Toks’ and Snapchats fine-tuned and at the ready. If you are a marketer, a brand strategist or even a business owner, optimizing your approach to social media is the key to reaching the right people and doing more with what you have got.
The question is, how? How can you use social media to maximize reach and ensure your business does not just survive a crisis but gets at the core of new audiences and creates more excellent opportunities for creativity and expansion? Here is how:
1. Shine a Spotlight on Your Brand
In a nutshell, the single most important benefit of social media marketing is visibility. There is no better method to contact new, high-value potential customers than through social media, with any more than half of the world’s population actively participating on at least one site.
And engagement isn’t limited to brands people are already familiar with on and off social media: 60 percent of Instagram users say they have discovered new products on the platform.
2. Humanizing Your Brand
Establishing trust between brands and consumers is integral to fostering brand loyalty in the relationship economy. UK based data firm Trinity Mirror Solutions found that 58% of adults do not trust a brand until they see “real-world proof” that it is honoring its promises.
You have got to nurture connection, and in order to do that, you have got to showcase what makes your brand human and real. This is one of the most incredible benefits of social media.
3. Make Your Brand A Thought Leader
Whatever business you are in, social media can help you create your brand as an established thought-leader and the go-to source for expertise in your niche. Like brand advocacy, thought leadership can go a long way towards fostering consumer loyalty and trust.
Don not underestimate the difference a few well-placed facts and infographics can make to your brand’s image.
4. Increasing Website Traffic
Social media posts and ads are absolutely essential when it comes to driving targeted, relevant traffic to your website. When you share insightful content from your website or blog to your social media platforms, you actively guide consumers where you want them to go.
That cross-platform connectivity is a great way to get attention and highlight your expertise.
5. Generate Leads
21st century consumers value ease of access above all else — and social media is the perfect, no-strings-attached way for potential customers to keep tabs on your business and your products. Social media is tailored to help you sell whatever you are selling.
Lead generation is such an integral aspect of social media strategy that many platforms and channels have advertising formats engineered to collect leads.
6. Engage Customers And Audiences
Customers and fans value real-time, direct interaction and engagement with their favourite brands. Unlike traditional media, social media proffers the opportunity for consumers to connect with you and make themselves heard. Actual conversation that actually matters.
But it is a two-way street: you cannot expect customers and followers to engage you without reciprocating. And often. Stay active and ahead of the content curve.
7. Learn More About Your Customers
Social media proffers a never-ending vein of information to mine about your customers — if you know where to look. Analytics provide hugely important information about whose engaging your account and how. You can utilise that data to create more intelligent and well-informed business decisions. Learn to read the data, and you can use it to better interact with your customers.
So, the next time you are considering quitting a dying brand or feeling helpless in your efforts to revive it, remember that your business can always use social media to survive the crisis by appropriate strategies. These strategies include shining a spotlight on your brand, humanizing your brand, making your brand a thought leader, increasing website traffic, generating leads, engaging audiences, and learning more about your customers.