As businesses proceed into 2014, more and more of them are going to start getting social. There is no doubt that, given the number of consumers who consistently participate in online communities, companies should tap into these treasured tools so they can connect with a pool of potential customers. That being said, not all social media methods are created equal, and organizations should be wary of the ways that these kinds of marketing campaigns can go awry.
It is heard throughout every industry time and time again: Companies have to be sociable to employ social media channels efficiently. This means that if a business sets up an account for the sole purpose of talking consumers' ears off about their products, then it will likely see some insignificant results.
Small Business Trends explained social networks should not be considered one-way streets. Members of the public flock to these sites so that they can interact with the rest of the world. While they want to be able to peruse posts and stay informed, they also like to be engaged by other users and feel as if the opinions they are sharing are being heard.
Bearing this in mind, companies should be careful not to use social media sites as their personal soapboxes. By incessantly promoting their products or lecturing, companies will not be doing themselves any favors. One tell tale sign that organizations are exclusively broadcasting their brand messages and pushing their business agendas on consumers is that they have few users commenting on or sharing their posts.
Think like a user, not a business
According to Business 2 Community, a simple way to prevent this from happening is for companies to adopt a different mentality about social media. Just because they are incorporating the use of these networks into their general marketing plans does not make them marketing tools.
Rather than viewing these online channels from a purely business point of view, companies should think like their customers. Internet users do not gravitate to social networks so that they can be bombarded with advertisements and harassed by constant sales pitches. They want to form virtual bonds with others, an inclination that organizations should strive to match.
Businesses do not have to deny their identity as a for-profit entity, though. They can still attract consumer followers by offering promotional giveaways and holding contests on social networks. However, they also need to maintain their public following by keeping the conversation going and users participating in their online discussions.