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The Importance of Real-Time Social Engagement

By Snap Agency June 11, 2016

5 Reasons You Need to Incorporate Live Engagement Through Your Social Media Platforms:

In today’s world, everyone is constantly logged on, plugged in, and/or engaged in some form of media one way or another. Whether one is connected to their smartphone, computer or app it is almost impossible to ignore the ever-changing digital landscape.  This massive connected web creates a space for individuals, brands and businesses to establish an online presence or identity. However, the influx of media users also causes a lot of noise, making it difficult for brands to stand out. So how can your business rise above all the clutter and clickbait out there to get your content and messages to your unique audience? One powerful and specific way is through live, real-time engagement.

Social Listening

1.  Positive Brand Awareness

Imagine having to wait in line at a customer service desk for three days. Now imagine waiting in line at a customer service desk that doesn’t have a customer service representative. It’s critical to not only respond appropriately to negative social sentiment, but to respond quickly. A timely response will help you effectively meet your business objectives. Some companies shy away from social media because they are afraid that if they give the masses a forum to publicly air their grievances, they will get a lot of negative comments. News flash: The people who post negative comments on your social media pages are the same people who are going to bash your company with their families and friends. The benefit to having them do it on your Social Media page is that then YOU have the opportunity to respond and remedy the situation out in the open.

Alternately, a positive post from an influencer can do wonders for strengthening or rebuilding an online reputation. Monitoring your social media posts by sharing the positive reviews and responding to the negative ones will your increase brand awareness.  This will also give your clients and customers the opportunity to advertise for you. If a business constantly claims to be “number one in customer service,” that doesn’t mean much to most potential customers. But if this same business has an active Social media presence and other people are saying it, people are going to pay much more attention. Growing and maintaining a strong relationship with your audience should be at the center of your social media activity.  Which then leads to….

2. Social Media Should Be Focused On “Social”

When thinking about traditional marketing approaches and campaigns we think of directly targeting the consumer. One big misconception with social media marketing is that we are to use it in the same way that we approach traditional selling efforts. However, the more successful brands use social platforms to actually talk with their social connections. By actually engaging with connections, brands can listen to the consumer and tailor their marketing efforts toward new trends and changes. People don’t want to be constantly talked at, but instead communicated with, which offers a more personal sentiment. In the end, social is about people and relationships and by creating a large space to cultivate and interact on those platforms, you are creating a space to positively impact your business.

3. Enough About ME. Let’s Talk About…

You can only toot your own horn for so long before people start tuning you out. Your audience is more likely to listen and engage with you when you are sharing relevant information from other sources outside of your brand or business. This will increase social awareness and influencer outreach by getting in front of other audiences in the same target market.  Not only are you providing relevant content for your users but you are expanding your brand and putting yourself in a position to gain new, relevant views and followers.

4. Quality over Quantity

In regards to social media platforms, it is easy to get hung up on how many likes or followers you have as a user or brand.  Naturally, we think more is better, but that is not necessarily the case for social platforms.  It is easy to get “like-happy” and fall prey to “buy your followers” campaigns when in reality, the number of likes and followers you have does not directly correlate to an amount of revenue or level of brand awareness.  Many of those likes or follows could be coming from an external source with no correlation to your brand or product; and chances are, they aren’t even real people.  When seeking out new followers or influencers, quality over quantity wins! Spend time engaging with users in your target audience and posting relevant information pertinent to that base instead of putting money and time into acquiring irrelevant followers that will not add value to your business.

5. Be A Trusted Source For Your Audience

The majority of active social media users use the various platforms to stay on top of the latest trends, topics and breaking news.  They value quality, accurate statements and reassurances in times of crisis or large events.  Often these users turn to statements of support and encouragement, while seeking out quality information from sources they follow on social media, often including their loyal brands – like you! It is important to stay on top of local and national events to provide users with relevant, information as it happens.  This constant presence extends brand awareness and association. A recent example of this was when Minnesota native and music legend, Prince, passed away. Social platforms were bombarded with false claims, tributes, and everything in between. It is important to show a social presence to your audience during these times, but to remain respectful of all parties and not let your personal opinion or ideas extend to your brand.

Social media is a great way for businesses to stay connected to the ever-changing world of web communication and development. It provides a space for users to create a vocal platform to share, respond and act on any and all aspects of daily life and experiences.  As a result, web viewers are constantly bombarded with stimuli telling them which brand of shoe is going to make them run the fastest, or which juice cleanse will guarantee the most weight loss. Shared content can influence people to make all kinds of decisions often times without even total conscious awareness. Amidst all the noise, brands need to establish a platform to grow and connect with their audience.  Live, active engagement allows for communication and trust to develop and progress between the business and consumer, creating a positive experience for both parties.  
Whether you’re an entrepreneur managing your own social content or working through a digital marketing agency, like Snap, it is important your voice remains consistent across all platforms and you are engaged with your consumers best interest in mind.  When in doubt, remember “social” correlates with relationships.  These are your people! Put yourself out there, be professional, and have fun with it!