February 11, 2016
PR can help you reach more customers using this vital tool
Will Rogers once said, “You’ve got to go out on a limb sometimes because that’s where the fruit is.” Indeed, if you want to reach consumers today, you need social media – because that’s where they are.
Social media seems to have gobbled up our lives and free time. New platforms are popping up all the time and consumers still can’t get enough. To keep up, businesses must understand this medium and use it correctly. With help from public relations, you can learn about the latest developments and ways to use social media for maximum advantage.
What trends will you see and how should your company handle them?
1. Real-time updates and information with video are becoming more popular. With platforms such as Snapchat, Meerkat, Periscope and Instagram, users have become accustomed to seeing news and notifications as they happen. Statistics show that on Periscope alone, viewers watch the equivalent of more than 30 years’ worth of videos every day.
For businesses, this means that customers may now be more receptive to live-streaming video, such as your CEO giving a live speech or your spokesperson being interviewed by the local news. As this tool gains acceptance, it may also make it more difficult for companies to strategically plan social media posts ahead of time, so you will need to get more comfortable with spontaneity.
2. More than half of customers expect to receive a quick response from your company on social media. Whether it’s a positive review or just a question, customers demand your immediate attention. In the case of complaints, they expect that response within an hour.
This means that your business must master the concept of faster response times. Since consumers move fast on social media, they insist on the same from your company. Otherwise, they will quickly move on to your competition.
3. App technology is becoming more sophisticated. In an effort to keep users on an app for longer periods, Facebook and others have developed functions such as the ability to perform a search on items in an article as you are reading it. There are also buy buttons that allow consumers to see an item they like in a post and easily purchase it with one click and without leaving the app.
This makes it possible for your company to engage with customers for a longer time in just one place, instead of constantly jumping from platform to platform trying to spread your message. It will also allow you to develop platform-specific tactics, so you can better track your performance.
4. You will see a more direct correlation between social media and sales. Studies have linked more than 3 billion dollars in sales to social media engagement efforts, and research shows that consumers’ reliance on social media for buying decisions has increased.
As a result, the more your company connects with customers on social media, the more your profits are likely to rise. However, it can’t be just any old post. You must create content that adds value, entertains and creates opportunities for real dialogue.
5. More companies are hiring PR firms to help them manage social media. Social media has a major effect on your company’s visibility, reputation and how well you can move customers through the sales cycle. With so much riding on social media, you don’t want to leave it in the hands of an amateur.
Let Axia Public Relations help you augment your social media strategy, develop the right messages and build stronger customer loyalty. Contact us today or download our e-book, The Essential Social Media Management Guide, to learn more.
Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter at @axiapr.
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