The world of social media is transforming. When initially digital marketers start using social media as a marketing channel, there were less buzz, less content, less engagement and people were willing to click on almost every single post appear on their newsfeed.
Now luxury brands post links, images and videos on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, aiming to reach a wider audience so that they can drive a high number of sales and leads.
The time has changed now – there is more content on social media platforms available to consume. If a post doesn’t look informative or attention-grabbing, people just scroll down.
According to Moz Founder Rand Fishkin, Facebook and Twitter have become the most challenging platforms and it is harder to drive traffic and get clicks from them.
Businesses and organizations that are succeeding on social media such as Nike, Airbnb, Dutch Airlines, are the ones that believe in offering personalized social experiences to their audience.
Social media has changed now… it’s become a conversation – a personalized conversation.
Social Media is Great for Luxury Branding
Social media is considered as a solution to almost every marketing problem. Though it is great for certain aspects of marketing such as brand awareness and customer engagement. But if truth be told, social media is not something that helps you achieve every marketing goal you have in your business plan.
For instance, social media is not the right place to drive traffic for your business website. The strategy of conveying your marketing messages across different platforms in order to drive more clicks was effective in the past, but social media is not anymore for driving clicks. It has now become an engagement tool.
With this transition, many new opportunities such as excellent customer service and one-on-one interaction arise, which many social media platforms are leveraging with their messaging features such as Facebook Messenger, Twitter Direct Message, Instagram Direct and more.
In short, engagement is all about the content you create for your audience and share across social media platforms to encourage your audience to respond, like, share and comment or in some cases drive clicks back to your business website. Some experts believe that social media is all about strengthening your relationships with your fans by engaging them and not simply conveying branded stuff.
Here are a few reasons why social media is a great engagement tool.
Less Visibility and Decline of Organic Reach
Nowadays, organic reach on social media has dropped so that social media is becoming a less preferred choice for driving website traffic. Businesses are reaching to a narrow audience and getting low traffic from social media platforms via organic methods. Businesses that completely rely on social media for referral traffic, are getting low social referral traffic. Many businesses are observing a 50% fall in Facebook traffic.
Since the amount of content on social media is increasing gradually, there is less chances of each social media platform to be seen and organic reach will naturally fall.
A research conducted by Social@Ogilvy suggests that Facebook organic reach has fallen to 6% in 2014. This number has decreased further when Facebook made some changes in its algorithms.
Social media is losing its potential to drive more website traffic and businesses are not getting the reach or visibility. Sadly, marketers have to accept this reality and adapt accordingly.
The Rise of Chatbots
Since social media is the dominant platform over the last decade, social messaging apps are growing at a faster rate than social media platforms. There are more people who use messaging apps than they use social media apps, a study found by Business Insider.
It is predicted that nearly 1.1 billion individuals will use messaging apps by 2018, and 1.5X more people will use messaging apps than the social media apps.
The rise of social media messaging apps truly indicates a change in people’s behavior and preferences towards more personal communications. When people check their social media accounts, they are not only view the posts appear on their newsfeed, they are also looking for the ways to reach your business for customer support, getting timely updates and ordering their favorite products through messaging chatbots.
Let’s take an example of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines here: Not only they post interesting content on their social media channels but they have also invested in a Massenger chatbot that sends boarding passes and conveys flight information to their passengers. They offer customer support and travel directions via their Messenger bot.
Moreover, there are more than 200 social media agents who quickly respond to customers’ queries in different languages. The brand also provides customer support through the most famous social media apps WeChat and Kakao Talk. The active engagement of social media fans has enable them to gain remarkable brand value.
Businesses that believe to send out only branded stuff on social media will miss out on a huge opportunity to serve customers in interesting ways and might be left outdated on social media.
People Use Social Media Channels to Reach Brands
Since more and more people are using social media to get help from brands, social media has now become the best place for most people to find customer support. A survey suggests that the number of social messages that need a quick response from businesses had increased by 18% from 2015 to 2016.
People are now widely using Messenger and Twitter Direct Messages to reach brands for help.
Let’s take an example of Airbnb: There are many people who comment on their Facebook posts to get help. And Airbnb is getting the most out of it by quickly responding and helping them.
Sprout Social found that being responsive on social media encourages customers to make a purchase decision while ignoring them leads to less brand loyalty. If truth be told, social media has made it easier for businesses to help their customers on social media. This is the reason; social media platforms are developing more customer service tools and businesses are investing in them to quickly respond to their customers.
It’s high time for businesses to transform their approach towards social media and go far beyond simply posting content. You need to be smarter and present every time to help your customers when they need your help.
Create Content that Drive more Engagement
Besides customer engagement through customer service and personal communications, engagement is also about the quality of content you are producing and publishing on your social media channels. Carefully think, is it engaging enough to provoke positive responses from your target audience.
To get more user engagement and brand awareness, brands need to create content that engages their target audience. The number of posts you publish on social media greatly impacts the number of people who would view your posts.
For instance, if a majority of people like your post, social media algorithms will take it is a clear sign that your post is engaging enough and will show that post to more people. However, if there are only a few interactions, social media algorithms will think it is uninteresting, irrelevant or not useful for the audience. So, the more positive responses on your posts, the more people will reach you on social media.
If you want to get more traffic, conversions and leads, then you need to create posts that are interesting, relevant and informative. A study conducted by Socialbakers reports that the more positive responses your Facebook posts gets, the higher the website traffic.
Businesses need to understand that social media is the place to build brand awareness through engagement, it is not a referral source or revenue channel. There are many brands who are already increasing brand awareness and help their customers instantly resolve issues through social media.
It is the right time to use social media platforms wisely – share your content to reinforce your brand image, showcase your brand personality, engage with your fans and answer your customers queries quickly.
Article written By: Irfan Ahmed Khan, he is a brand strategist, digital marketing expert and blogger. Currently, he’s associated with social media marketing agency. He has served many brands with his digital expertise.