Congratulations! You have quite the following on social media!
But now what?
Unfortunately for most brands, that’s where their journey ends. Imagine if this situation happened in real life: you run into a friend at the park who cordially says hello and mentions she likes your stunning new set of shades. Instead of continuing the conversation with her, you turn and walk away. It’s not that you are being rude or ill-mannered… like many marketers, you worked so hard to get the attention of the audience that you have forgotten to engage with them! Just like talking to your friends offline, it’s important to have a two-way conversation online.
Brands speaking WITH their audience and not AT their audience foster a better, longer-lasting relationship because a brand is listening, reacting and responding to the audience’s needs. Don’t be afraid to reply to negative criticism or give credit when credit is due. An unanswered complaint can be far more harmful than a simple “Thank you for your feedback,” or “I’m sorry you had a bad experience this time. Let us work to make your next one better!” If you like something that another brand is doing, incorporate the idea in a post or tweet. There is a good chance that brand may share your post on their page, broadcasting your message to their network of followers, thus increasing your reach and hopefully your following.
Creating Brand Advocates
It all comes down to using this earned media and attention your brand is attracting from others in a way that strengthens your brand. Forbes magazine recently described earned media as a brand message that “draws the attention of your customers and turns them into brand advocates and influencers, who will in turn push your brand before the eyes of more customers and potential brand advocates.”
What are a few ways you can increase your earned media right away you ask?
- Hashtags! Researching popular hashtags relevant to your content and your brand is a good place to start. But be careful. Add hashtags to your posts only if they are pertinent to the content.
- LinkedIn. Joining and posting to groups on LinkedIn can be another viable option for your brand to stay in touch with like-minded thought leaders within your industry.
- Content sharing lists are also a good way to get involved in the conversation. Content sharing websites are easy to join and are meant for people that want to share and interact with others. The more you are engaged with other brands, the more you can learn from their needs and post content on topics that interest your target audience.
Here are a few content sharing websites every brand should become acquainted with today.
Every brand’s relationship with its audience is different, and only you know what your audience will connect with. The relationship can grow or decline at anytime, and it must be worked on every day. It’s hard work, but as you continue to engage your audience you’ll see your reach grow, and that’s what makes you a good content marketer.
Engage. Engage. Engage. Don’t be a bad social media friend.
About the Author
Alex Navarro is a California-native who currently lives in Dallas, Texas with his fantastic wife. In the past, he’s been responsible for creating, developing and executing national brand awareness campaigns and has enjoyed developing personalized marketing and promotional plans. Alex studied advertising and marketing at Pepperdine University and has enjoyed working in the field ever since. He also loves meeting new people – connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.