Using Social Network Norms to Engage Your Consumers
Today, consumers want their brands to interact with them on a more personal level than ever before. Regardless of whether you’re a B2B company or a B2C company, consumers want to know and feel like there’s a person behind the brand’s face. Where better to reach them than where they are? On average, over 70% of Americans have a social media account of some sort. The average social user has 8.5 user profiles across all social media sites.
As the networks continue to grow and transform, and new networks are still being introduced, consistent understanding of the platforms and modification of your strategy is important for connecting with your consumers. Social platforms give companies the opportunity to interact with their audience in a personal, authentic way. However, it’s important to be aware of the fact that each site has a different purpose and brings out certain aspects of consumers’ personalities and ways they like to interact on the site.
What once was a platform for people to complain about random things happening in their life has become a legitimate news source for many users. Avid Twitter users rely on the platform to stay up-to-date on breaking news, and can tailor these updates to specific subjects that they care about. Twitter is a great opportunity to become an industry expert or thought leader by consistently providing your followers with new information that will educate them. The platform can be difficult to master because of the urgency of posting at times, but it is a great way to become a source that your audience can rely on to deliver the information they are looking for.
LinkedIn is inherently known as the social network for business. It is a way for professionals to connect, network and stay informed on what’s happening in the industries they care about. Users on this platform want to be provided with high-quality, intelligent information that will help them be better at their jobs. This is another platform where your company or individual professionals within your company can really gain a following and be a thought leader in your industry. The platform should also be utilized for attracting top talent. As it continues to prosper, many business professionals are relying more and more on using LinkedIn to understand a company’s culture, connect with employees and even find opportunities at the company. No matter the size of the business, this social network is an easy way to gain more recognition and brand awareness for a company.
With the amount of influencers and celebrities flooding the Instagram world, and with the amount of emphasis that is placed on aesthetic of photos, Instagram is more of a fantastical world where users want to see and are trying to be their best selves, their most ideal selves. They want to see content that is high-quality, entertaining and glamourous. Brands that work in the Instagram world have to spend time investing in their content to make sure it’s competitive with other posts that occur on the platform. Brands in industries like travel, fashion and hospitality often can perform well on here and can establish consumer trust by providing unique content.
Facebook connects back strongly with the consumer’s personal life because of the amount of information available to display on the platform’s profiles. Everything from hometown to current job to marital status can be reflected along with friends, social events, photo albums and more. Facebook users seem to associate this profile as the most similar to their everyday life. Having this sort of relation back to their lives creates a sense of acting and engaging in a way that they would in a social setting.
It is also a platform where users like to interact and share thoughts/information with their peers. A way to engage positively with your audience is by creating content that your target users want to share. Content that they identify with and that helps to put their opinions into easily shareable formats is very beneficial for users to share and for your brand to gain more organic exposure.
Reddit is interesting because of the anonymity of the platform. Since the platform doesn’t require that users tie any of their public information back to their day-to-day lives, they can be whoever they want to be. Often times, this results in them being the most true version of themselves and the most honest because of it. Reddit can be optimized by businesses by finding communities that they can tap in to to get conversation started and honest feedback from consumers. For example, if you’re in the healthcare industry, you can chime into a conversation being had on a topics in which you’re an industry leader. You could also take it a step further and initiate the conversation being had to gain more honest insights than you may find on other social sites.
TikTok and Cameo
With new social media landscapes gaining popularity just as the platforms seemed to be pretty fixed, it goes to show that you can’t get too comfortable with stability in the social landscape. These two platforms are proving that consumers haven’t had enough of social sites yet, and they are excited by new experiences that meet their needs. Both TikTok and Cameo do so in unique ways.
TikTok – TikTok has taken the idea that consumers have short attention spans to a new level. They found a way to string together pop culture with quick, easily digestible and mobile preferred video entertainment. With clips only being able to last up to 15 seconds (or four clips strung together for a minute), posts are perfect for today’s reality where attention spans are shorter than ever and consumers want to be entertained, quickly.
Cameo – Cameo found a way to maximize on influencer and celebrity culture more than other platforms like Instagram and Twitter already have. This new app is attempting to bridge the gap between people in the limelight and regular consumers by putting a price on a personal shout out from a public figure. The app has an array of athletes, artists, reality stars, etc. that all have their own price point for a custom message to a fan. Sentiment towards the app still seems to be of mixed emotions, but it is still making waves in the social industry and proving there are people who want more of this intimate interaction with public figures. Is there a way that your brand can utilize this “influencer mentality” for engaging your consumers?
Each platform has a different way that users interact while using the site. Companies that want to utilize social need to make sure that they are engaging with consumers in a manner that feels comfortable and organic to their audience. Not every platform is going to fit every company or brand, and trying to play on a social site that doesn’t really align with your brand may cause more issues than positive sentiment with consumers. If you’re not educating or entertaining your audience in a place where they are looking for just that, then you’re probably causing more harm than progress with these relationships. That’s why developing a strong strategy that will align with your brand and the social platforms is extremely important and can be very beneficial for your audience relationships.
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