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BW Businessworld

How To Connect Business Strategy With Social Media?

Brands big and small are realising this – but the challenge remains: how does one engage on social media without annoying the user? Remember she’s on social media to entertain herself, just hang out and do her thing.

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We have come full circle with social media. Consumers rely on several mediums to ‘get to know’ a brand, but evidently, social media is the most impactful. When your customers – especially millennials - are on social media for over 2 hours and 38 minutes every day, you just cannot ignore the medium. Breaking away from tried and tested big-budget marketing methods, now brands are forced to think out-of-the-box to engage their target audience online and connect the dots between what they want and how they view the brand. 

Brands big and small are realising this – but the challenge remains: how does one engage on social media without annoying the user?  Remember she’s on social media to entertain herself, just hang out and do her thing. 

For a marketer, it is almost impossible to ensure that his target audience sifting through the chatter finds just what he wants them to dig up. To make this engagement relevant and impressionable, he needs to consider the following aspects of social media. 

Converse: Often the simplest task is the toughest. Sparking one-to-one conversations by pulling your audiences through messaging that feels “personal” can help you separate yourself from the lot. It can be achieved through influencers or even direct engagement, but one must be mindful of the match—consumers and media. For instance, a short and crisp tone on Twitter and a more visual style on Instagram work better. Refrain from making a business pitch, preach, or in-the-face advertisements. People like conversations. Nobody wants a sales pitch.

Connect in moments: Earlier it was the crucial first few moments for marketers, now it is all they have. The attention span is shrinking by the day, and data suggests that it's now down to 8 seconds! However, the fact is consumers do not want to waste their time with infinite options available in a click unless it is something that leads them to initiate action.

Think of it like this—back when television became a household name, there were only a handful of channels. Now you have over 400 channels, plus multiple video broadcast avenues. Naturally, you want to spend your rationed time only on the most suitable platform. Your communication needs to be extremely topical and contextual to make an immediate connection. Avoid red-herring topics, and try to connect with positive affirmations and conversations on subjects like community, festival, is one way of doing this. However, you cannot afford the luxury to sit and plan campaigns, it should have a quick, timely, and short lead time. 

Be credible: Trust and credibility are hard-earned. There has never been a time where it was more pertinent than now. A recent study found that 85 per cent of consumers will only make a purchase from a brand they trust. The true test of a marketer is not to overdo, or fall prey to false or controversial branding and marketing activities. Endearing yourself to consumers through credible influence is critical. This demands a natural connection between the brand and the endorser. Micro-influencers can come useful to drive the connection and showcase authenticity.  

Most consumers are well educated, conscious and watchful today. To streamline your social media activities and strike the right chord, make use of social listening tools. They can help glean useful insights, including competitor benchmarking are an effective arsenal for a marketer. Furthermore, social listening tools need to be combined with other analytics tools using AI /ML technology that can help sift through the data and garner meaningful insights. Most importantly, social media for business strategy should be complemented with the active involvement of company leadership on the chosen platforms.

Lloyd Mathias is a Business Strategist and an Independent Director. He held senior leadership roles in PepsiCo, Motorola and HP Inc.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Tags assigned to this article:
business strategy social media

Lloyd Mathias

The author is an Angel Investor and Business Strategist

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