The advent of social media has presented a huge turn around in the way businesses communicate with their audience. There is a vast amount of information fighting for the attention of the average social media user today. Advertising tactics that may have been efficient with mass media (e.g. radio, television) simply won’t get you anywhere with social media.
When mass media was predominant, all a company had to do was buy time or space and they could get the attention of the public. Now, however, things have changed. Even though you can still buy space on social media, this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get any attention at all, mainly because of all the distractions available on the internet.
So what is the way forward?
To attract the attention of your target audience on social media, engagement should be a key consideration. Your audience should feel involved. Even if you choose to go the way of interruptive advertising, make sure your adverts have value and the capacity to appeal to your target audience and also incite a response from them. For instance, on Snapchat, you want to create filters that your followers can use. By letting your audience interact with your brand, they feel involved.
It is important to note, however, that although you can start the conversation about your brand, with social media, you can’t control it. You have very limited power over the information that is generated about your brand. Most times, a large amount of the conversation going on about your brand is generated by the consumers. Feedback about your brand products/services constitutes a considerable part of these conversations. To some, this may sound like a disadvantage, but consumer-generated information can serve as a powerful tool in making your ads more effective. Research has proven beyond a doubt that people’s decisions are influenced strongly by consumer feedback. And you can in turn influence this feedback simply by listening and responding.
Listening is key to the success of any social media strategy. One mistake brands commonly make is that they talk too much. You want to get information about your brand out there; you want your audience to know why you are the preferred choice. But while all this important, it is also key that you listen to what is being said about your brand and respond appropriately. As much as possible, reply to feedback and if you feel you’re not getting enough feedback, ask for it. Let your customers know that they are important to you and that you care about their opinions. Listening gives you an idea of what works and what doesn’t and helps you fine-tune your social media strategy so you can get the most out of it. This way, you can ensure your ads elicit a more positive response from your customers who are in turn more likely to generate positive conversation around your brand which more people will respond to. This way your customers will feel involved.