As most of you know, social media has become increasingly popular over the last few years. According to Mashable.com, there are 3 billion social media users around the world. We use various platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and much, much more. Social media has become a tool to exchange our lives and identities online with friends, family and acquaintances. We are able to keep in touch, share photos, stories, memes and events with each other on a daily basis. But, an aspect of this dynamic outlet is being underutilized. If you can reach all your friends and family members around the globe, why can’t business owners reach their potential customers in the same way? Well, now they are.
Many businesses are using social media for business and they are winning! In order to make conversions, you must first put aside the sales tactics and focus on creating relationships with your current and potential clients. Most of the social platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit and Tumblr all share one similar focus: community. People log onto their accounts to share content with each other because they believe it is useful and will provide value to someone else. This is what companies should be doing for their online audience.
In order to build meaningful relationships with your audience you must:
- Share content that is useful and/or will provide value to your audience. This can be done through blog posts, good news stories, or humorous pictures and videos. It all depends on your brand image and how you connect the content to your business strategy. As a business owner, you should try to connect your business strategy with content that is useful for your audience. You must make a connection and show people that they should do business with you.
- Create an online community by adding users that follow businesses that are similar to yours. It all comes back to sharing content and creating conversations that will get people talking and interacting online. At the end of the day, you are the connector.
- Always stay true to your brand image while taking risks. There are some things that are a no-no for companies to be sharing online (this is where online reputation management comes in), but in this day and age of media, it’s okay to take risks. These risks should first involve discussion, but the only thing that will make you stand out from the crowd on the internet is the ability to take risks and be bold, while staying true to your brand image.