No one can deny that social media isn’t huge (you’re a fool if you do!) and as it continuously evolves and changes, not only are people adapting and very accepting of this new way of not only communicating but living, but so are businesses too.
Gone are the days when the only way for brand messaging was larger than life billboard signs, repetitive (and not to mention annoying) radio ads and jingles. Advertising has changed, and for the better. Instead of brands speaking to us they are speaking with us, in a two way conversation as we are forming more personal relationships with brands.
So it’s now time for businesses to decide whether they reveal their human side in order to build new, stronger and effective relationships with customers, or stay traditional and keep the wall up between us and them.
Here 4 ways social media is evolving businesses:
1. A picture says a thousand words: Visual Content
We are living in a visual world and I am a visual girl. People love sharing images whether it is crazy photos from Saturday’s night’s party on Facebook, inspirational photos of what inspires us on Pinterest or what you just ate on Instagram.
We are busy (or like to think we are) and do not have time to ready every status update, every email and every article that comes our way so that’s where pictures and videos come in handy. It’s much quicker to snap a photo of the delicious banquet I am about to devour (jazzed up with a filter of course) then to write about it.
Visual content is imperative for businesses – don’t just tell me what I can get, show me! Social networking sites, particularly images based ones such as Vine, Pinterest, and Instagram help to humanize your business while promoting your brand and other brands your company is passionate about. Visual storytelling is alive and well in today’s age of business and social media has revolutionized that for companies.
2. Keep your reputation: 24/7 Customer Service
Provide a customer with a bad experience (shame on you), that customer is going to go straight to your Facebook page to tell you (and your followers) about their negative experience and they won’t stop there. They will tweet and tag you in a post, review you on Google Places and bad talk your business on Yelp. Wherever they can talk online, they most likely will.
Social media has brought forward customer service to the front end of a business and is no longer behind the scenes, but it’s not all bad. Social media has also provided businesses with an opportunity to manage any disputes or compliments in real time in order to keep up their reputation and customers. Also when you provide someone with excellent customer service they will most likely respond being thankful, therefore people can see you resolved the issue and the customer is happy again.
The sooner you resolve any issues the better as other followers of your social media pages will see you’re professional, prompt and sympathetic to your customers. People do business with companies they trust – show your audience they can trust you to solve their problems and you will develop repeat customers.
3. Listen before you speak: Listening to what the people want
As I mentioned before, compared to traditional marketing, social media have changed the way of advertising and marketing.
Businesses and consumers are talking to each other rather than at each other.
Best of all, social media marketing is providing businesses with the best opportunity to listen. Listen to what their customers want, listen to what their competitors are doing, and listen to what’s trending. To be successful and grow as a business you have to listen to the people that keep you in business.
4. From Robots to Humans: Businesses developing personalities
People want to get to know the real you. A business that is poised, polished and rehearsed will go down in flames today. People do not tolerate fakeness and your business is full of personality/ personalities so show people. Social media gives a way for businesses to be real and not the pushy sales people they can appear to be. By just being yourself and showing personality customers are a lot more likely to interact and buy from you.