"Online social networking increases,
rather than reduces, face-to-face socialising"
Researchers at the Australian Psychological Society (APS) did a poll of 1834 adults and found that ¨online social networking increases, rather than reduces, face-to-face socialising¨. Whenever I meet a new prospect we hit it off like old friends because I know so much of that person already through their social profile.
So how we use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. really does make or break the branding of a business.
The use of social marketing will bring returns as studies show that 85% of consumers say that they will change their buying behaviour in response to social media content (source: The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web).
So, how does one go about making social media work?
Believe it or not, you have to be a good host.
Many know that guests would usually enjoy a dinner party if you're a good host. On social media, you too have to be a good host. Know your audience – who are the ones looking at your business and what they are interested in. The same way you would invite guests who can connect with each other. This way you will know who to target and what makes them tick.
Share your brand values.
Next, you have to dress the part. Create brand visibility by matching your brand with its values. The tone you set will draw people into wanting to be part of your community and circle. Influencers can be powerful allies here. They can help to increase visibility of your brand and also heighten the tone you set on your brand. Choose your influencers carefully so they are in line with your brand values and image.
A good host knows how to entertain their guests. Humans are a naturally curious species and they like to learn. Feed bits of information from time to time so people feel like they are learning or receiving something. When you share knowledge with your audience, they feel involved, like it is a two-way conversation. Nobody likes a host who specialises in monologues. Draw your audience into your circle and shared values. A good way to consolidate beginning relationships is to share common values.
Have a conversation and engage.
You should never neglect your guests at the dinner table. Take note of when they are most jovial and what they like most. Similarly, you need to post regularly so your audience feel they are involved. Analyse peak times when your audience log on to check you out. This is prime time to engage in a conversation and upload content. Focusing on what posts they like most will give you a big clue as to what drives them and it becomes valuable material for you to develop on.
A good host has a healthy dose of self-esteem and confidence. No host would deride their own cooking and it is hardly pleasant for guests to have to hear a tirade of negative comments. Businesses need to like their own posts and engage actively in comments when followers respond. This shows confidence in what one is selling. A good host checks in often to see if their guests are happy with the food or if they need more wine. It is the same on social media. A good social media marketing strategy can help you capture and convert leads. Businesses cannot let their social pages stagnate. It is better to have two good engaging social sites than a bunch of social sites with weak content. An active conversation triggers traffic in cyberspace and businesses need to engage with their audience consistently and constantly.
Love those behind the scenes moments.
Ever wondered why people love watching ´behind the scenes´ moments in movies? We all love a good anecdote and a dash of humour does not hurt. A good host would always have a little story or two up their sleeves to get the guests relaxed and laughing. Being able to laugh at oneself and show humour has a psychological effect of drawing people closer to you. A business does not have to look posh all the time. Posting behind the scenes content is a clever way to give a peek into another side of your personality. Just as nobody likes a Little Miss Perfect, we are much more attracted to someone when we see a wittily wicked side to them. Brands can use this cleverly to their advantage.
We love citing the example of TG´s Childcare and Preschool and their experiments with social media. They have successfully used Facebook to involve the parents and community in what they do. One of their prime values is playing as a way of learning. With all the wonderful playing that is happening every day at TG´s, they have a valuable store of images and content they can use on social media to show children building relationships with one another through playing or how children develop their unique gifts which they discover through playing. The images are always colourful, joyful and fun – it exudes the values TG´s wants to share, such as love, trust, care, respect, compassion, confidence and pride. Through their Newsroom (we call it their Playroom) on their website, TG´s shares fun events with the community and the pride they feel for the children and educators. The tone they set across their various social media is consistent. Merely being a follower of TG´s on their various social media makes you feel like you are indeed part of the TG´s Family. It is also likely that you may start to adopt the TG´s Way of playing, learning and living even without being conscious of it. One of their cleverest experiments was posting on Facebook one evening, ¨Are your children in bed?¨ It sparked off a volley of responses from good-natured parents with a delicious sense of humour. A simple question posted at the right time and TG´s has scored a clear goal in getting the community to be involved.
With the right strategy, social marketing can be a powerful tool for a business. Take on a spirit of experiment and adventure and see how with a bit of creativity, psychology and statistics, social media can help make your business grow. At Vermilion Pinstripes we constantly have tons of ideas buzzing around our heads about how we can make changes, increase traffic, draw in followers, get customers´ attention and garner their loyalty. We love the work we do, especially when we see businesses grow as a result of implementing the right strategies.
That said, are you ready to lay the table, chill the wine and be a good host? We would love to be invited as your guests!
Referrals from social media has become even more important with it driving more than 31% of referral traffic (source: Shareaholic Social Media Referral Report). Read this - Social Referral – It’s time to expand from traditional social media and maximise its effectiveness.
Vermilion Pinstripes is a sales marketing and communications agency based in Port Macquarie, Australia and in Singapore.
Vermilion Pinstripes is a partner of Hubspot, Active Campaign and Kounta point of sales software. It's amazing how we have a team who use maths, science, creativity and psychology in this modern marketing era to help small businesses and B2B organisations connect with MORE of their most profitable customers using a simple, clear and structured purpose-driven sales, marketing and communications plan to gain brand clarity so that they can grow their business and achieve returns on investment (RoI).
We are proud to count growing local, regional and global businesses gain business confidence. Let's build yours!