Meeting Demands for Social Media Engagement
As the one-way street of marketing began splitting into a forked road several years ago, the effectiveness of print advertising diminished and the rise of social media marketing began. But while having a presence across multiple social media channels is great, it only helps a brand if the brand engages with its audience on those channels. That is because social media takes the power out of the marketer’s hands, and places it squarely in the hands of the consumer. And what consumers want is engagement.
Even if we are marketers, we are also consumers who place common demands on the brands we support. When it comes to social media engagement, those demands are:
- Transparency – We want honesty.
- Immediacy – Whatever it is we want, we want it now.
- Third-party validation – We like knowing that others feel the same way we do.
Social media offers us all of that, if the brands we choose to engage with will give it to us. As a marketer, you can fulfill your own consumers’ demands for social engagement. If you do, the rewards will be great. If not, then your social media marketing campaign will surely fall short of your expectations.
The introduction of Facebook Graph Search has led to an even greater need for social engagement, as it has heightened the influence of engagement on social searches. Engaging on Facebook will elevate your position in Facebook Graph Search, thereby exposing you to a broader audience and helping you achieve deeper social media marketing penetration. Other platforms also use various engagement metrics to determine suggestions in their search functions; the vertical column on the right side of every YouTube page, for example.
So, here is what all brands currently utilizing social media marketing need to do: Claim a presence on every social media site that applies to them, clean up their current profiles, and make a commitment to routinely update and integrate their social media pages. That is a universal principle that can apply to every social media property you own: from your Facebook page, to your Twitter handle, to your YouTube channel and to your Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Yelp profiles. If you own it, you can immediately start using it to your advantage. Your company blog should also be incorporated into these channels, as you share and promote your blog posts on a regular basis.
Social media marketing is not only mainstream; it is dominant. It has its own rules that have seeped into nearly every other aspect of advertising, including offline channels. Using it to your advantage means giving consumers the social engagement they crave. If you show that you care about them, they will be more likely to show that they care about your brand.