Historically, brands only spoke and the public listened. There was no real conversation, just two well-defined roles, the company and the receiver (the audience). With the advent of the Internet and social media, everything changed. Today, brands and users can communicate and converse with each other, without time and space restrictions. Even better, companies have at their fingertips a myriad of resources that allow them to evaluate the quality of each conversation initiated and each communication sent in detail to improve the relationship with their users, attract more and more customers and turn many of them into brand advocates. Randall Castillo Ortega, a business expert and the founder of RACO Investment, discusses how businesses can take advantage of social media to grow their operations organically.
The trite phrase “information is power” applies perfectly in the social media environment, where everything can be measured, analyzed and acted on accordingly. While networks are used in the social sphere, they are also allied with companies in order to reach their audience directly. Are they an incredibly valuable source of interacting, which wouldn’t be possible in the physical world, or do you really think you could bring all your clients together at an event and chat with them every day?
According to research by Smart Insights, the two most popular activities on the Internet are browsing social media and watching videos. In turn, nearly one-third of the world’s population uses networks on a regular basis. If you have a company, there’s a reality you can no longer deny: your business needs to have a social media presence.
A brand needs a content strategy. Asserts Castillo, “You need to know which attributes you need to see most and when. For that, it is recommended that you list all the products or services you offer, important dates for your business, for the industry and related events. With that in mind, you can start thinking about where to orient your communication in networks.”
The first thing you need to do is create your company profiles on the networks that best fit the audience you want to reach and also taking into account the popularity of each one. If you’re just getting started, you’re going to have to start looking for people to follow you. You can ask your contact base to follow you on networks or you can also search for people who have an interest in your brand or industry, looking closely at the description of their profiles and interacting with them so that they are interested in your brand and want to follow you to be aware of your news.
While images and videos are the most impactful resources today, it is also possible to opt for thoughtful and detailed posts, as they work well with many audiences. Another practice that has also given good results is to start communicating with a question that makes the reader reflect. Think about those posts you can’t help but click to see how they continue. That’s the intention you should look for when making yours.
Adding hashtags specific to the content in question is also recommended, because, depending on the language in which your audience has their social media accounts set up, they will be able to search for hashtags and it is always good to leave that door open for them to find you. Detecting what your audience likes and how they like to consume that content will gradually make it possible to put together an online strategy with what they are looking for and think about creative ways to present it to have more impact.
Share your own and other content. Your audience will be interested in learning more about you, but it’s not always good to just talk about yourself. Sharing third-party content will help you settle your place in the industry and demonstrate that there are also other entities that stand up for the principles of your brand or industry.
Entrepreneurs can also take advantage of other social media activity from companies in the same field. Adds Castillo, “Follow hashtags related to your product and industry to find people and organizations, follow them, interact with them and share links of interest. Review your audience’s activity schedules to make your posts at that time. On Facebook and Instagram, you can view it from your profile stats.”
Prioritize the networks you choose. You don’t need to be in all of them, but you need to look at which ones will be a priority for your audience and think about strategies with that in mind. Analyze your actions and the impact of each post to understand what kind of content your audience likes best and how to present it to boost your results. Add your social media links to your communications by other means to remind your audience that they can find you and interact with you there. Without a doubt, it is a job that will take time, commitment and constancy, but the benefits will pay off. Your audience needs reasons to follow you and for that, you must build a source of content of interest.