How to Approach Your Social Media Strategy
More often than not, businesses begin a social media campaign with the wrong expectations. Compared to traditional marketing techniques, this technology and these platforms are relatively new. As opposed to viewing it as a traditional market economy, it is helpful to view social media as a gift economy in order to understand how important the relationships that are crafted on these platforms are.
According to a recent article in Harvard Business Review, in a traditional market economy money is given in an exchange for goods or services; however, in social media the focus has shifted to a relationships. People who participate in social media are there to develop their relationships with friends and family first and foremost, not to make transactions.
Because of the way that these encounters that are cultivated, certain transactions are made based on trust and a genuine relationship. In order to get to that point however, businesses and brands must ingrain themselves within this social currency. As opposed to pushing products onto an audience, businesses must consider how individuals use their products and what would help make these interactions better.
On the most basic level, social media is another channel for businesses to get their message out. There is an undeniably large audience on social networks, and for certain demographics, not being involved in social media can be a deterrent for consumers.
Businesses involvement on social networks has become expected, as a way to learn more about the brand and develop a relationship with it. If this technology continues to progress and become more ingrained in our culture, a business that isn’t willing to allow this kind of engagement will probably suffer.
Beyond simply talking at consumers and giving them information, the next step in social media is to develop individual relationships with users. By doing so, brands and businesses have the ability to create brand ambassadors for their products and services. Users and fans are more likely to act on a recommendation from their friends than they are from an advertisement, which makes these relationships invaluable.
The best way to be successful in social media is to develop a community for these individuals to connect with each other. Based on a general appreciation of one quality of a business or brand, users can engage with each other in a way that was lacking and now adds to their social experience.
By filling this void, businesses strengthen individual relationships with customers while ingraining their business or brand in the community and its conversations. Although it is more work than a traditional ad placement or TV commercial, nurturing these relationships and earning the trust of users will reward a business beyond what was previously expected.