Large numbers of followers are not an indication of an effective social media strategy
In a recent study, Americans were asked why they used social media. 40% indicated that their reason was to find more information about a company or organization. In addition, 26% of Baby Boomers, 31% of Gen-Xer’s and 43% of Millennials indicated that social media has some influence on their purchasing decisions.
Social media is no longer a numbers game
Early adopters of social media marketing used a shotgun approach to gain followers. Through the use of automated programs, it was relatively simple to add hundreds of followers daily. The resulting appearance was one of connecting and influencing a large audience. The reality was that a majority of the followers were more concerned with adding to their own amplified digital persona than caring about a brand’s product or service offering. Conventional digital wisdom at the time was that large numbers of followers would translate to an equally large number of sales leads and brand advocates. What actually resulted was a dilution of the conversation and insights that can be gleaned from social media.
Quality instead of quantity
Now, B-to-B brands are focusing on acquiring smaller numbers of quality followers that actually have shown an interest in the brand. Actions such as joining in a conversation, participation in a survey, opting in for newsletters, or landing page requests for additional information are digital tools which can bring on quality followers and influencers. This should come as no surprise with the advent of being able to purchase thousands of Twitter followers and Facebook likes for just a few dollars.
Authenticity helps drive brand engagement
The preferred B-to-B social media strategy is to connect with customers and industry influencers. Customers engage with brands when they are already attached to the brands’ product or services. Brands that engage their customers with exceptional service or user experience will in turn drive those customers to engage with them on social media. Brands that try to “hard sell” their product or services on social media are unlikely to see any return whatsoever in sales from those efforts. Companies that consistently monitor their social media platforms and provide timely responses to comments and customer service problems accelerate brand loyalty and increase the opportunity for additional sales.
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