Being huge advocates of social media for business, we decided to dig a bit deeper and find out what was actually going on. So, we followed the links from the newspaper’s
rant, sorry, article, to the people who came up with the statistics – TNS Digital life.
Surprise surprise, the survey actually looked at whether people wanted to BUY PRODUCTS on social media. Well, of course they don’t – that’s not what it’s there for. If we want to buy a product, or to find out more about a particular product, we go to the website, or look at a catalogue or even pop along to our local Argos branch, right?
What TNS Digital should have been probing is which brands are using social media properly and which ones are making a total hash of it… ie: which brands are using social media to ENGAGE with their key audiences and which ones are using Twitter, Facebook et al to bombard people with advertising messages and product shots.
Here’s the problem…
Too many brands are still completely missing the point with social media. It’s called SOCIAL media for a reason, people! Social media channels are not just another outlet for your product messages. Social media provides a very real opportunity for you to engage with your target audience; build trust, get back to basics and work out why they buy from you in the first place – what are their interests? Where do they hang out? What do they want to talk about? Social media provides a platform for you to become an expert in your field, to share information and engage in useful, live conversations with people who are interested in what you have to say.
If your business is in fashion retail, for instance, don’t talk about your latest range of bangles… talk instead about the latest trends, who’s wearing what, tips for putting together the perfect outfit, style advice, offer to answer people’s fashion questions, etc, etc, etc. See? When you use social media to share useful information there’s a much better chance of your messages becoming viral; share information that people actually want and they’ll pass it onto their friends who, in turn, will forward it to their circle, and on it goes.
And don’t forget the power of social media when it comes to customer service. Show you’re on the button and keen to help and advise and people will come back to you time and time again, AND tell their friends to do the same.
Why should they follow you?
Try this out for yourself. First, are you following any brands? Why? What makes you keep in touch with them? Secondly, try searching a few of the big brands on Twitter… look at them as a consumer and ask yourself which ones you’d actually want to engage with.
Treat people as you’d want to be treated and you probably won’t go wrong.
PS: Want a bit more detail on why your business SHOULD be using social media? Check out this video.