The importance of keeping your brand real in the social realm
Companies shouldn't shy away from social media because it brings them closer to their customers – in fact, this should be what brings them into the social realm in the first place.
Social media marketing is different because it is social.
Facebook and Twitter were created for people to interact with one another[comma] while blogs were started so that individuals could tell the world their unique stories.
The obvious next step for these platforms was for companies to move onto them, but many are challenged to communicate using new media.
These channels of communication are different to traditional marketing outlets, including billboards, radio spots and TV ads.
People don't respond to traditional 'hard sells' as positively in their social media feeds.
Whatever your approach to social media marketing happens to be (and there are many different successful ones), it helps to remember about keeping things 'real.'
What we mean by this is that companies can benefit by being a bit more personable.
Your customers know that there is a real person typing away on your blog or Facebook page, so they have certain expectations of them.
For example, if a customer makes a complaint about your service or product online, follow it up. But importantly, show that you are following it up.
Consumers can't stand being ignored when they're left unsatisfied – and if potential customers to see complaints that aren't being followed up, they may get the wrong idea.
Companies that are seen to be chasing up complaints publicly are demonstrating that they care about the customer's experience.
So what is the simplest rule? On social media, act as if you are representing your company in person.
In real life you act politely, you don't force products down people's throats and generally you try to be a nice person to interact with.
This is what your friends and family expect of you in social situations, so the same approach should be applied, even if you don't know your customers personally.