Success with Social Media

sm Image Source: socialmediatoday

In my previous post I talked about how to use social media to your advantage and the benefits of using social media as a PR practitioner. In this post, we talk about how to ensure your social media use is successful.

Social media is huge in the sense that it reaches a very wide audience. Facebook enjoys 880 million unique visitors per month and Twitter 160 million. With such a large number of users, including businesses, your message can easily get lost in the deep-sea of social media. Audience’s attention are also increasingly fragmented today, so it’s important to target smaller, passionate audiences.

How do you do this? Opinion leaders. For example, your newly published book might get some attention because you’re a good writer but if Oprah said it was a good read, your sales would immediately go up by millions. With social media, bloggers are your go-to leaders. Depending on your business, there would be an expert or someone the general public go to for advice. If this person is not already online, bring them online and get them talking about your business. This way, you get the attention of your targeted audience and get them to share/like/comment, engaging with them further.

If you want to be successful in social media, you have to play for the long-term. Build friendly relationships with bloggers, not pitching them. Bloggers are not going to talk about you if they don’t like you. That also means growing an authentic fan base, not buying fans and followers, insincerity is obvious on social media. Sounding a lot like PR?

Partner of Codeless Interactive, Brad Smith said, “you have to plant your seeds, and tend to them over time. You have to be methodical, strategic, and consistent.” The basic principle here is that you have to make people happy if you want them to like you.

Evoking an emotional response from people is also what makes them stick around. The two-way conversation with audiences is what helps you create a personal bond and an important way for you to make sure they remain happy customers. Happy customers stick around longer, buy more, talk to their friends about your business and improves the lifetime value of each customer. In this way, social media is basically free advertising because you didn’t actually have to spend any money to attract customers.

A good example would be Urban Hilton Weiner’s ‘selfie’ campaign, where the retailer gave a $10 coupon to visitors of their store if they tweeted a ‘selfie’ of themselves trying on some clothes and used the suggested hashtag. This campaign got more people in the store, more people trying on clothes, and sharing their outfits with their social network, while encouraging purchases.

Gayathri K, Monash University Communications Student

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