Social media is no longer the wild west (coast) where anything goes, brands run free, and platforms remain unchecked. App redesigns are controversial front-page news, political moments move market share, and podcasts preach privacy practices. And, although social still moves faster and changes more rapidly than any other media, it has matured.
So, what's the next phase in social media marketing? Humanity. Remembering that your consumers are people, too. People with everyday lives and everyday problems, who yearn for recognition, connection, and appreciation. And, that means regaining trust and building relationships through a better customer experience.
We’ll take you through three areas to focus on that will help brands elevate their social experience for the benefit of the customers and the bottom line:
Bridging the gap between marketing and customer care efforts
Identifying the right data to inform strategy and creative
Knowing your brand values and taking a stand
#1: BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN MARKETING AND CUSTOMER CARE
Consumers are 7x more likely to purchase from and 15x more likely to spread the word about companies that lead in customer experience. Brands need to understand that every impression is a part of the customer experience.
Social media is the one channel where the marketing experience and care experience happen in the same feed, on the same post. Problems arise when they are not working towards a shared goal. This means going beyond customer service and broadening the phrase to encompass “Customer Care.” This means every moment on social is in service of creating meaningful interaction, not just answering the customer need. All while maintaining a consistent brand presence and a seamless information loop between your audience, marketing, and care.
#2: FINDING THE RIGHT DATA TO INFORM STRATEGY AND CONTENT
How do you translate all of the data social provides into content that can work hard for your brands? Listen with intention. Social data is, by nature, constantly being updated. For brands to excel means silencing the noise and finding the most relevant conversations to listen to. Finding the ones that truly form a connection between a brand, their consumers and a shared interest. For example, during the 2018 World Cup coverage from FOX Sports, FOX recognized that their most watched and shared content was not of the game's highlights, but rather of fans celebrating. In response, FOX shifted coverage mid-tournament to fully focus on the passion in the stands, leading to benchmark-breaking content for the network and their partners.
Along with understanding how people talk about a topic, advertisers need to evaluate how the individual platforms are incentivized as a business, compared to how their users respond and adapt to new changes. The main social platforms are constantly updating, responding to consumer behaviors, as well as creating them. The features that are both the most adopted by users and the most lucrative for the platform will be the priority in the algorithm.
#3: WE GIVE OUR BRANDS VOICES, IT’S OKAY FOR THEM TO USE THEM
Do good and stand for something. These words were on repeat throughout the days at the Summit. But, what does that mean for a brand? Brands have a responsibility to use their platforms to spread good. In our industry we hear it over and over again: “millennials support brands that support their causes”.
Now, we’re starting to see that come to life. Brands like Nike have raised the expectations for consumers and it’s no longer going to be acceptable for brands to sit back and be silent. Most recently with their partnership with Colin Kaepernick, Nike not only saw their sales increase by 31% within within the first month, but they generated a meaningful debate on a topic that is at the intersection of their brand’s and consumer’s values. That being said, brands have to ensure that their voice is being heard in a conversation that is authentic to their brand purpose.
Keeping up with the speed of social, creating value through content, and engaging with your audience in one-on-one conversations are basic fundamentals that every brand should already employ. By trying to bridge the gap between marketing and care, listening to the right data, and having your brand utilize its voice, your brand will be positioned for success in the next phase of social media.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to get your brand moving in the right direction.
What are our consumers interested in general? What’s our role in that conversation? What is unique that a brand can offer to make the connection?
What insights from the social care team can we use to inform content development?
What are the potential social care implications of the new campaign about to launch?
Imagine the positive social customer care interaction you’d want. Then ask yourself, does my brand do this?
What is our brand’s purpose beyond the product? How can we use our purpose to support consumers?
Co-Author: Sarah Levi