We are living in the golden age of internet. Normal tasks that have been the same for centuries are changing. For example, you no longer have to pull out your wallet and pay with cash or card. Now you pull out your phone, press your thumb on the home button of your iPhone and pay with Apple Pay. This idea is known as the internization of everything and it's happening all around us.
As the internet grows and expands so does its social inter-connectivity. Social media as a term is becoming archaic. It is the current expression of the web's social component that is made up of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc... These social platforms have grown like vines on the side of a building, they are like threads that weave and connect commerce and life together on the internet. Thus, social media is not a stand-alone term that describes one category of the internet, but more so, social is the glue that holds the internet together... and it's just the beginning.
These social platforms have grown like vines on the side of a building, they are like threads that weave and connect commerce and life together on the internet.
Now, with this understanding that social is the glue, the way we look at and strategize our business online must change. We must understand that just having a Facebook page, a Twitter handle or a LinkedIn company page is a waste of time and space if not utilized appropriately in a 2017 online environment. A robust online presence requires detailed and ongoing attention to quality, valuable content being offered and maximizing relational interaction on all the platforms your organization utilizes. After all, social media started as a place on the web for relationships.
A robust online presence requires detailed and ongoing attention to quality, valuable content being offered...
Your organization's website and social presence is one and the same. This is a critical concept to understand. Consumers will gain entry to your organization through a variety of entry points, most commonly your website or one of your social platforms. Each one should carry the same consistent brand, information and message. Being able to access your brand with all of its content and information and all the primary web platforms is an expectation of consumers. They expect to find you on Facebook and Instagram; they expect for you to have a fully responsive website that has valuable info; they expect to find you on Google Maps. It isn't an option anymore; it's an expectation.
Your social presence has one key component that your website can't accomplish as easily - Interaction with your consumers. Social is an amazing platform to interact and engage with your consumer base. Not only will your customers leave reviews and make comments, it's your opportunity... no, it's your duty to respond and engage! Consumers, whether good or bad, will engage with your brand on the platforms and it's your chance to nurture good feelings, provide valuable, personalized information or resolve issues in a way that makes them an evangelist of your brand. Through utilizing comment replies, tagging people, Instagram Direct Message or chatting with folks on Facebook Messenger, you will be providing a level of customer service that meets consumers where they're at in a medium that is fun and intuitive.
In addition to the general idea of managing, maintaining and utilizing your social presence, social has become a premier advertising venue. Affordable and brand centric, social advertising has become a leading distribution channel out-performing television and print advertising. A common advertising metric is cost per thousand impressions. This is the amount of money you have to spend to reach 1,000 people. When you advertise on social media, your cost per thousand can be less than $3. Compare that to direct mailers ($52), broadcast TV ($28), and magazine ($16) and the numbers speak for themselves. Social advertising's strength is its ability to refine a target audience and deliver content in a brand consistent form in a very affordable way while meeting consumers in their on-the-go lifestyle.
Social advertising's strength is its ability to refine a target audience and deliver content in a brand consistent form in a very affordable way while meeting consumers in their on-the-go lifestyle.
Facebook has made their advertising platform (Ads Manager) accessible to anyone with a Facebook Page (not a personal page). Their platform is easy enough for anyone interested in advertising or promoting his/her brand, product or service to do it, and deep/complex enough to really get creative in delivering/deploying ads to niche markets. Do you have an email list? You can create a custom audience using that list and deploy ads on Facebook targeting that list. You can also retarget IP addresses of people who have visited your website through the use of a Facebook Pixel, a small piece of code Facebook provides that you embed in your website that provides tracking information back to Facebook. Since Instagram is owned by Facebook these advertising advantages are also tied in so that Instagram is used as a delivery channel.
This is just the beginning of a new age of advertising. Social advertising is changing the game and allowing small businesses, faith-based organizations, non-profits and other smaller entities to play ball in the general marketplace. It is the democratization of the internet.
The social construct of the internet is making doing business on the web more approachable, interactive and accountable.
We are living in exciting times! The social construct of the internet is making doing business on the web more approachable, interactive and accountable. Your brand's reputation is dependent on your online presence and what folks are saying about you on social. How you choose to leverage, manage and utilize your social platforms can determine your overall success. Give serious consideration to allocating more time and resources to improving your presence and ongoing management of these platforms... Your success depends on it.