Shifting Gears with Social Media
Ever since the introduction of social media, communication has been made simple and affordable. Less boundaries in the virtual world means people tend to voice opinions more freely and effortlessly and because of that, comes a new shift in consumer expectation.
Social media thrives on making people feel like their voices are heard and valued, giving opportunities for people to interact and communicate more conveniently. That being said, it will not be far-fetched to say that people carry over this behaviour into their buying behaviour. Using social media and instant communications, consumers hope to be more involved in the business’ ecosystem with expectation that their ideas and feedback would be considered and implemented.
Moving Forward with Words
In an era where “actions speak louder than words”, people’s opinions carry more weight than one-way advertisements. This may not necessarily have to do with the effectiveness of the advert, but rather, it could just be that people trust their friends more because they can relate to them. People voicing out to their respective social circles could very well influence a person’s decision to continue supporting the business, or to find a replacement.
It is hard to escape the grasp of social media as it is reported that there are 2 billion monthly Facebook users as of July 2017, with the average time spent on various Facebook-owned platforms being 50 minutes every day. In a digital-first world, various platforms already offer tools to help utilise social media for business, from valid data collection methods to audience targeting. It is obvious that a business should reach out to people through social media, but instead of playing the social media game, why not own it?
The LARA framework is an effective guide to utilise social media for the company’s advantage. The framework consists of Listen, Analyse, Relate, and Act.
Listen to the consumers through social media channels. A good tool for people to voice out works equally as well as a tool to listen to people. By listening to the complaints, suggestions and compliments online, a business will be able to assess where they stand in the eyes of the public. Knowing the public perception of the company is the first step in creating a well rounded approach to interact effectively with the consumers, or to change the people’s perception altogether.
Analyse the chatter. The point in analysis is to know what to do with all the information accessible through social media channels. This chatter should be filtered to categories, which include things to address, to keep in view, to reply to, or to include in market research. With different filters available to monitor and keep track of your defined audience, rest assured that the data obtained will accurately reflect the thoughts and views of your target audience. Social media has already created a platform for businesses to obtain vast information online for market research purposes, almost completely costless.
Relate the messages to existing company info. Complaints, information, suggestions, should all be compared against the company’s vision and core values before any action is taken. This is to ensure that the company stays true to its values and to show a sense of consistency and professionalism of the company. This also functions as a platform for the business to analyse what is the best approach to respond to the audience without compromising the business identity.
Act on those conversations. Creating a campaign to fully address those conversations will be necessary to create a better corporate image. With the help of social media, the size of the campaign can be scaled based on the budget and objective of the campaign, be it targeted or all-encompassing. Besides acting on what is necessary, it is also important for businesses to stay active and responsive on social media by regularly engaging their audience, even after they've gained their followership. By doing so, audience will have a reason to continue following the business and be engaged in what the business does, and not just be a number on the page's followership count.
So What Do You Do?
Every business is different in nature and would need to take on a unique approach and unique set of content strategies to fully utilise social media for their benefit.
At FOREFRONT, we understand the difficulties in content curation as well as maintaining engagements on social media platforms.
Thus as a full-fledged creative agency, we provide complete services to ignite your brand(s), from creative ideation to copywriting, 3D visualization, UX design, and video production, giving you wholesome and effective solutions for your business.
By 12th September 2017