Being active on social media can be beneficial for your company in many ways. Social media offers businesses a brand new way of advertising that is more casual and less promotional, which makes customers more likely to directly engage with advertising content, and more likely to actually view ads, click through to your website, and purchase your project—and that is, after all, the purpose of all marketing.
One of the big ways that social media sites have changed the advertising and marketing world is they have given companies and individuals who are branding themselves an great opportunity to quickly earn consumer trust, and earn the trust of a broad range of types of consumers.
Consumer trust is of the utmost importance in terms of total revenue and total website views. Especially with products that are computer-centric or internet based, like downloadable software that is available for customers to purchase and download online or even basic e-commerce websites, customers absolutely have to be sure that other people have successfully purchased from a particular site and have not had their information sold or stolen before they will be willing to enter their personal information and card information in order to make a purchase on your website.
One way of doing this is by simple word of mouth and by developing a brand that becomes synonymous with trust and reliability. An example of this is Amazon: this e-commerce site as built up bullet-proof consumer trust that is hard to compete with in the e-commerce market. They follow up with customers after purchase by sending emails and surveys, and providing simple ways of tracking packages.
In this way, Amazon made sure that its customers were satisfied with the products that they purchased. Amazon then set up a system of review interfaces, including opportunities for happy (and unhappy) customers to provide short descriptions and assessments of the products received, the service they receive, the expediency with which they received their package, and their overall experience with Amazon.
Amazon set up its own system where customers could, and still can, communicate with each other and with Amazon representatives, which enabled customers to feel a sense of trust and confidence in buying from Amazon. As more and more people purchased from Amazon and had positive experiences with both other Amazon customers who had become loyal customers and with Amazon representatives.
Representatives at Amazon could quickly respond to issues and resolve issues when they were brought up, which gave the customers an additional feeling of safety. With this nearly constant availability of real human beings who can assist with problems or just provide upbeat customer service, customers feel at ease with providing information and with making purchases.
In addition to this increased likelihood to make an initial purchase, a customer is only going to remain loyal to a company and become an advocate for a company if they trust that company.Consumer advocates are extremely important in today’s marketing environment.
Rather than responding to advertisements that are directly promotional, like ads that are billboard-like in design, customers respond much more positively to real-life people who have had real-life positive experiences with the product.
Social Media and Consumer Trust
The modern way of gaining this sort of consumer trust if you are a new company, a company that is not well-known yet, or even if you are a well-established business looking to gain a higher degree of consumer trust, is by using social media.
When using social media to gain trust from customers and improve your company’s reputation with consumers, it is important to use the tool correctly. Ads that are like billboards or television commercials are outdated. Customers are less likely now than they once were to see a box on the side of their computer screen, or an advertisement stuck into their Facebook newsfeed, and respond positively to that ad by clicking on it and possibly following through to purchasing the product.
Consumers today are so bombarded with ads and promotional plugs everywhere they turn—from driving through town past billboards and LED signs, to TV commercials for every type of product imaginable, to online ads that are tailored to their search engine activity—that they have become essentially numb to most of this promotional media.
It takes a very ingenious ad to grab the attention of a consumer in this market that is simply swamped with ads. If you are not spending billions of dollars on developing an ad, you have to make sure that your product is something that is not elsewhere available, so that the customers you are targeting are grabbed and drawn in just by the idea of your product.
And this can be risky in online advertising, because having an entirely new product concept and advertising it online puts you at risk of copyright infringement and losing customers to another company that decides to offer the same product at a lower cost.
Marketing with social media, when done correctly, offers a valuable alternative to the old ways of advertising that are working less and less well every quarter. Social media marketing offers businesses the opportunity to gain consumer trust quickly and effectively through “shares.”
This system is similar to the way that Amazon gained their infallible consumer trust, but social media shares are even more all-encompassing. Companies can enable their websites to be shared to different social media sites, primarily Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, with a simple button option somewhere on the page or on each page or photo.
This is most commonly used with Facebook, since Facebook offers the broadest range of options as far as types of media you can post, and it also has the best algorithm for presenting the shared content to the Facebook users that will be most likely to take interest in it.
Twitter, for instance, limits posts to a small number of characters, and it also only presents posts to users chronologically. Pinterest is great for household products and memes and other posts as well, but is limiting because videos do not play when scrolled over as they do on Facebook.
In social media marketing, it is more important than ever to know your audience. With billboards and commercials, these ads were for everyone to see, but when you take a social media approach, make sure that your first step, before you even make that first post, is to know who you are advertising to. With that in mind, you are well on your way to a successful social media campaign.