Social Media’s Influence On Business
We are all on social media and all online. Companies have started to use this as a way to reach larger audiences and those who are loyal fans. First were the days of catalogs being sent to your home, to email blasts, and now, sponsored social media posts. The way businesses use social media is constantly changing and evolving as consumers are learning what’s real and what’s not. In today’s market, I feel that you have to get customers engaged and active with your product.
On The Value Of Feedback
Social media has a strong influence on businesses no matter what size, even if they are a local store or an online retailer. Social media has become the soap box where consumers praise, rant and react to brand interactions. It’s something businesses just can’t ignore. So as a business owner/marketer, it’s important to be present on social media, not only for companies to tell a story, but so they can listen to what their audiences are saying. Social media is a great place to gather open and honest feedback on products, customer service, new designs, etc. Ignoring social media will hinder a brand’s ability to innovate and evolve. Unfortunately, while businesses can use social media to reach out to audiences, customers can harm a brand with social media. Ever send an angry tweet to an airplane company? While sometimes it feels good to rant, it can harm companies. Like Yelp where customers can post good or bad reviews, sometimes they are not so honest ones by completion.
Personally, for the past year, I have been working on the marketing for the luxury online retailer Tani USA and have found social media to be instrumental to growing the business. Being an online company, you have to find what makes the most sense in reaching new audiences and telling them about your brand. The best way to get started is to have quality content — if there isn’t anything worth seeing, consumers won’t be interested and will ignore. Once a company has a decent following, you need to use social media to get them engaged with your product. What we have done is a referral program, enticing customers to tell their friends to shop Tani USA and creating a #TaniFan where you can post photos of yourself for a chance to be featured on our Instagram account. This is by no means innovative, but is how companies are getting that engagement, similar to Chandon’s #ChandonSquad . Plus, you can tell which companies have fake followers by seeing how many people are actually liking and commenting on their posts — organic and authentic is more effective than showing a high number.
Photo via Jrlindy003
CEO of Black Card Books Jean-Guy Francoeur says, “Social media is the most powerful revolution in business since the printing press. The reason is because it puts the power back in the hands of consumers and has given consumers a voice like never before. As a result, some businesses fear this voice but if you’re smart, you will embrace this voice and listen to your customers. If you listen your customers will tell you everything you need to do to make them happy and keep them buying. This has been our greatest advantage. Instead of shying away from this very public discussion, we embrace it. We want to hear what our customers think so we can adjust and deliver on their expectations”
Influencers are changing as well, followers can see past a tea post where they smile and say how much they like it. Engaging videos and posts where it shows authenticity is what drives sales. The influencers who show their morning routine with Caudalie or an expert bartender making a drink with a Chandon will be more popular than an empty post saying use this or buy that. In the end, companies need to look at the numbers and ask, “did this post drive traffic to our site?” or “which influencer will be worth the ROI?”