When we talk to companies about their social strategies, most are focused on sales.
While this isn’t a bad strategy, focusing solely on sales through social media is lacking a modern and mature approach.
Here’s where to set your sights instead.
Four Social Strategies To Focus On
From what we’ve seen, the companies having the most success on social are focusing on …
- Customer Service
This means their focal point is not just on content for sales, but on learning from their customers, participating in conversations, responding to their requests, and using all of those data points for better business.
Is there a time and place for sales social strategies? Sure. But we believe those sit with advertising and not organic social media.
Let’s dive into each of the four social strategies for how to be more innovative.
Awareness As A Social Strategy
To start, ask this question: How do we become a familiar face in social feeds (and part of the conversation)?
Awareness is where a lot of companies start. And I find this to be a solid social strategy because brand awareness is critical if you want to grow your business.
Tips for gaining awareness include …
- Be searchable: make sure your social profiles include keyword and keyword phrases that will bring your brand to the top of the list when searched
- Show off (Your personality): It is important to be more than just a pretty picture. Develop an online personality that helps humanize your brand and shows people the real “you.”
- Use edutainment to add value: Edutainment is both education and entertainment. Be newsy and helpful, but don’t forget that most users flock to social to be entertained.
- Consistency is key: You can’t post sporadically and expect for social to garner you a huge boost in share of voice. Develop a plan to be present and consistently look for places to join (relevant) conversations and add value.
Building buzz for your brand will take some time. AND testing. But it remains a top goal for brands for a reason: IT WORKS!
Engagement As A Social Strategy
To start, ask this question: How can we engage with our audience(s) by looking for — and participating in — conversations?
As research-baked data from Sprout Social’s 2019 Social Index shows, social media is the preferred communication method for many consumers outside of one to one communication.
- 69% of the U.S. adult population is using social media
- 88% of 18 to 29-year-olds are on social media
And yet, even with those staggering statistics, many brands are still not responding to the engagement they’re getting on social.
Social media gives you the power to connect with your customers, and potential customers, in real-time. But you must use it wisely.
A Convince and Convert study showed that 42% of consumers expect a response within 60 minutes. And many — most! — brands are not doing that (if they’re responding at all).
The point is, if you’re using social — especially for an engagement strategy — you need to be ready and willing to respond (quickly!).
Additionally, an engagement strategy should have you looking to social media to …
- Increase loyalty
- Generate word-of-mouth content
- Boost the reach of your content
- Obtain endorsements/reviews of your brand, products, and/or services
- Get feedback on your brand, products, and/or services
- Lower your CPC costs when boosting content
I included that last tip about paid media because many marketers don’t realize how organic social strategies can actually inform their paid efforts as well!
Customer Service As A Social Strategy
To start, ask this question: How quickly are we responding to customer questions/needs on social media?
While there are no good “averages” for brand response time on social media, we know that the stats aren’t good. As I mentioned above, consumers expect a near-immediate response while brands are still taking hours or days to respond.
If they respond at all.
This is detrimental to using customer service as a social strategy!
Increasingly, social media channels are where customers go to solicit and receive customer care. And as I mentioned above, it’s the top choice outside of one-to-one communication.
We recently wrote a piece on social media customer care that explains why many companies are now outsourcing their customer care needs, but below are a few tactics to consider when customer service is one of your social strategies.
- Record Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Create a response workflow for handling customer service requests, especially FAQs
- Be speedy
- Get personal; use their name and sign off with your initials or name
- Know when to move the conversation offline
- Use social listening to join the conversation BEFORE a complaint is made
Remember, customer service is reactive and customer care is proactive. Decide which of those paths you’re able to walk with confidence.
Experience As A Social Strategy
To start, ask this question: Are we taking what we learn from social data and feeding that back into the business?
Experience as a social strategy is really taking the above social strategies (awareness, engagement, and customer service) and using the data points gathered there to improve customer experience.
One client of ours is a great example of this. A financial brand we serve monitors social media listening to gather feedback from customers and then routes that feedback to their internal teams. This includes marketing teams, customer service teams, and product development or R&D.
This particular client is finding that they are able to identify technical issues with their products before issues are reported. This allows them not only to learn about how their audience views and uses their products, but how they want to develop future projects that serve their customers.
While this is not an easy strategy, it’s an innovative one. Additionally, it allows this financial brand to stay ahead of the curve in an industry where approval rates are notoriously low.
Putting It All Together
At the end of the day, there are many modern and mature social strategies that are not yet being explored.
I encourage you to get outside of the social “norms” and consider some of the unique social strategies listed above.
And if you need help, this is what we’re here for! Schedule a no-strings-attached call with me, Brooke Sellas, and we’ll get you sorted out and strategizing in no time.
What social strategies are you using that are not commonly talked about? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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