With the rush to be ‘on’ social having scooped up every brand in the land, the question now is – why?
What is the point to having that Facebook page, that twitter feed, that Pinterest board?
Without a clear reason to have and maintain a particular channel, they can quickly become a burden that a brand sees no return on or positive reaction from.
Instead of being a channel to get to know your audience better, interact with them and provide them with content of value, social media can become viewed as pointless.
However, with a clear understanding of your audience, why they are following you, when and why they like to hear from you and what, if anything, they expect from you, these channels can swiftly become a different beast altogether.
Sprout Social last month released its latest social media research report, which looked at why users choose to interact with brands.
Given people’s preference to share life milestones of various types on their private channels, the study sought to find where brands have an opportunity to be included in the conversation.
Holidays, relationships, family moments, house moves, personal and professional achievements are the moments most likely to prompt a post.
And the reason to include a brand mention in there range from a recommendation (50 per cent), a thank you (34 per cent), in order to receive a discount or incentive (34 per cent) and to show that this brand shares their values (29 per cent).
In response, almost half (45 per cent) want a like or comment in response from the brand, the same number would like a special offer or discount while 30 per cent would like the brand to share their post to all of their followers.
A separate study by Stackla reinforced the importance of authenticity of brands on social, with 86 per cent stating that was the single most important factor when it comes to deciding which brands to like or support.
Not everyone is getting it right, with more than half (57 per cent) of the opinion that brands they come across on social create content that is less than authentic or credible. One in five have unfollowed a brand as a result.
The challenge, therefore, is to craft original, authentic and engaging content for your audience and interact, show appreciation and be guided by them wherever possible. By doing this, the community you have will be loyal advocates spreading goodwill by word of mouth and peer to peer recommendations.
That’s the dream for social media, a true level playing field for every brand. It’s game on.