There are brands today that remain self-centered on social media, failing to recognize its use as a means of conversing with their customers on a personal basis. In fact, many brands are still in control of the time and manner in which they want to communicate with their social media audience. As a result, everyone sees the same content from the company - and the content is all about the brand, which is not exactly a satisfying relationship between the company and its customers.
Brands should determine the individual intentions of their social media viewers
Brands should be aware of the importance of a consumerís individual voice in social media, especially what the consumerís sentiment is towards their company, products or services at any given time. Exchanges between a consumer and the brand through social media matter a lot, specifically when it comes to customer service, and when that particular customer is an influential one.
All conversations in social media are significant, but there are those that are more important than others. These are the conversations that show that the consumer is ready to purchase a product or service. That type of exchange is important because at the end of the day, a social media campaign is considered effective if it delivers a positive return on investment. There are also conversations that are not to be confused with a customerís willingness to purchase - some are simply inquiries and research on products or services.
Different consumers, different social experiences
Ideally, a consumer should have a social experience that depends on where he or she currently sits in terms of his intents of going into a brandís social media channel. As previously mentioned, some consumers go to a company page to do research, some to browse through the products or services, and some are ready to purchase.
For consumers who are only starting to learn more about your company or the products or services you are offering, you can help them become more at ease with your social media page first by sharing relevant, interesting, creative, and entertaining information to them. A funny image of a pug might even be helpful.
For consumers who are ready to purchase, you can provide other kinds of content like coupon giveaways or promo codes. A business that is able to provide different individuals with social experiences that are more rewarding to them engages with the consumer at an emotional level.
Social is a behavior
Humans are sociable by nature, driven by their need to share. The need to socialize and share is seen not only in social media, but also in emails and search engines. As a matter of fact, Hougland states that social behavior is "interconnected across social, search and email, the holy trinity of purchasing decisions" and that social media "included a promise - the promise of the user controlling the media."
The consumer is in charge
Consumers know that they are being tracked by advertising companies for actions they do online, and yet they remain lenient about it. Receiving value and usefulness in every engagement matters more to consumers now than their compromised privacy.
Intent-based social marketing consists of campaigns for products or services that are aimed at consumers who have shown purchase intent for that particular product or service through their behavior. An example is when an individual looks up a pair of sunglasses, he or she may then see ads, special offers or promotions related to sunglasses. This form of social media marketing is very effective for targeting customers at a more specific context.
Roughly 30-40% of intent-based conversations include geography. This means that consumers wanting to have experiences near their locality are often led by intent-based marketing efforts. For example, when a consumer finds a product that is interesting online and intends to purchase it, he or she can be led to the nearest brick-and-mortar store selling that product.
Consumers donít trust brands as much as they trust their friends, or even strangers. This is why brands must find ways to reach their consumers wherever they may be instead of focusing on compelling consumers to go to their channels.
Consumers on social media feel that they are the center of this online experience. The number of misdirected social media efforts is reduced significantly for companies that truly understand this.