Facebook (along with other major social media networks) is clearly making a major investment to ramp up its technology to be more appealing to small to mid-sized companies, particularly those seeking to promote their brands. This article highlights two of the more important features offered by social media sites, and how they may be used to inexpensively project companies and their brands more effectively over the internet generally, and create a mechanism to engage with, and sell to, new customers/clients.
1. Regularly Integrate Videos into Your Social Media Newsfeeds
Video is king right now. As such, videos play a very prominent role in social media newsfeeds (which incidentally is how more and more Americans are getting their news and information), and this trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. In fact, recent studies demonstrate that video content is accounting for over 78% of all web traffic (in terms of data), and that trend is expected to continue. This means that it is going to be more and more important for companies to have access to a constant stream of high-quality video content to maintain a fresh appeal to their audience.
Here are some of the recent trends that we have already started to see in 2017 with respect to videos on social networks.
Native videos are experiencing the fastest rise in popularity. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, “native videos” are those that are uploaded or created on a social network and played in-feed, as opposed to being accessed through a link to another site (i.e. YouTube videos). Native videos may be either live feed or pre-produced content. Of the two, analytics show that live feed videos generally garner three times more views than pre-produced content, although pre-produced content is also very popular. Moreover, pre-produced content does not put the company CMO under constant pressure to create spontaneous video events. Also, the optics can be controlled in the case of pre-produced content; whereas, live feeds are just that----------live.
Regardless of whether your company opts for live feed or pre-produced content, your social media video should (to the greatest extent possible) replicate television commercials in their style and appearance. Therefore, they should be:
(i) Short (i.e. 1-3 minutes max. in duration);
(ii) Professional with respect to Production Value;
(iii) Appealing to Your Audience;
(iv) Clear In Their Message; and
(v) Produced At Or Under Budget.
For these reasons, it is imperative to hire a seasoned and experienced digital marketing firm to assist you with your corporate video feeds as video production can be quite costly, if done improperly. For information about corporate videos, and how they can be used to project your brand more effectively, please contact us at (805) 796-5655.
2. Use Your Social Media Page To Facilitate Customer Service
While we do not recommend this for all companies, there is a growing trend for companies to use their social media pages to facilitate customer service interactions. The reasons we are reluctant to advise all of our clients to use their social networks in this manner relates to the fact that people are generally more inclined to focus on negative matters rather than positive ones (see discussion below). Therefore, there is a real risk that airing customer service grievances openly on Facebook (or on some other social media site) can easily backfire, particularly if a valid customer dispute is not handled properly, or is perceived to have been handled improperly by your Facebook audience.
If, however, your company elects to use its social media page in this way, be sure to:
Be Responsive – it is important as with all customer service to timely respond to all customer complaints and concerns. People have a tendency to be very impatient on social networks, and few understand that a company may have thousands of inquiries (perhaps more) to address on a daily basis. Therefore, it is important to give a quick and meaningful response within a reasonable period of time, with appropriate follow up.
Be Proactive- just as social networks provide an ideal forum to build a brand, they can also be used to damage a brand if complaints are not addressed in a proactive manner. This means that company execs must always consider the public relations aspect of anything that impacts audience perceptions of the brand. Also, since people are almost three times more likely to tell people about negative experiences than positive ones, it is important to address complaints as quickly as possible.
Promote Positive Interactions with Company- this is obvious. Companies should use their social networks in a constructive way to build relationships with their customers and the public in general.
Monitor Customer Posts Very Closely- As discussed above, people are far more likely to post negative reviews rather than positive ones. In fact, some people will post reviews about a business that they’ve had no prior dealings with whatsoever. This is why it is necessary to monitor posts, and respond to comments that are clearly false or show the company or brand in a negative light. However, this should not lead any company marketing execs to lie or misrepresent matters relating to potential customer complaints. We subscribe to the wisdom that is better to “fess up” when something goes awry, rather than to “duck, dodge and conceal”.
At the end of the day, integrating video content that is relatable and relevant to your audience is key to success in 2017. Accordingly, creativity and innovative thinking is what will matter most when it comes to marketing new brands effectively and efficiently on social media sites, particularly considering the features discussed above. So, please think outside the box!!!!!
Once you start engaging with new customers through social media, it will then become necessary to create a mechanism for turning those engagements into sales--- a topic for one of our future blog posts. Please stay tuned in.
For more information about this topic (or any related topic), please contact us at (805) 796-5655.
Mr. Wright is a graduate of University of Southern California, Economics, and Harvard Law School. He is currently the President and CEO of E-Copywriters Plus.