4 Things Successful Brands Do Using Social Media

Successful brands know what it takes to connect with their prospects.  They know that one of the things that sets social media apart from traditional media is the ability to connect and communicate directly with customers and prospects. Communication becomes a two-way street – which is how we want it, right?  Then why are so many companies, even companies that claim to specialize is social media marketing, just broadcasting to their audience?   Here are four ways to ensure your brand is on the path to success –

1 – Successful Brands Keep it Fresh and Keep an Eye on It

You don’t have to have accounts across all social networks.  However, if you’ve taken the time to create an account, and shared content there, don’t leave it lying dormant.  Keep content fresh, and monitor those accounts for interactions from your community.  Nothing says “We don’t care about you!” like a Twitter or Facebook account where people are talking to you and you never respond.

2 – Successful Brands Open Up Comments

If you’ve got a Blog or Facebook Page but you’ve turned off the ability for people to comment on your posts, you’re not being social.  Using social media doesn’t make you social, or social media savvy.  Would you go to an in-person social event and ramble on and on, never letting anyone else speak?  Then don’t do it on your website, blog or Facebook page.  If people only cared about being talked to or talked at, they’d tune into your radio commercial, billboard or newspaper ad.  {Don’t confuse advertising with social networking}  Your customers and prospects are connecting with you across social networks because they want to interact with you – give them the opportunity to do so.

Spin Sucks has an active community as this post shows.

Spin Sucks has an active community as this post shows.

3 – Successful Brands Follow Back and Interact

Again, it seems like it would be obvious, yet many brands on social media don’t actually socialize with their followers.  Is it practical for your business or brand to follow people back?  Let’s use Twitter as an example.  Though you certainly don’t need to follow everyone back to know if they’re reaching out to you (remember a simple @ message will reach you), it is a nice idea to follow back.  If you’ve got a healthy number of followers and you’re only following a handful back, that tells everyone looking at your stats that you’re probably not interested in what your community has to say. Follow back and interact.

Back in April, Yoplait Greek noticed one of my tweets and reached out to me, showing me they’re actively listening and interested in what their customers and prospects have to say –

Applebees is another great example of a brand that’s using social media to their advantage.  They keep their fans entertained and engaged by hosting #LiveLunch chats on Twitter –

and inviting their customers to play #WingTheLyrics –

4 – Successful Brands Keep the Social in Social Media

Should you engage with your brand’s influencers?  Yes! Should you engage with your clients?  Absolutely!  Should you engage with everyone who reaches out to you? Indeed! {With a few exceptions, of course. See chapter 5 of Social Media Etiquette – Minding Your Manners on the Social Web.}  The bottom line is – social media is all about relationships.

If your social circle online is large, there are people in it that you don’t know as well as others, or not at all.  Review your friends/follower lists frequently.  Set some time aside each week to manage your following/follower ratio across your social networks.  Lists and circles built into Google+, Facebook and Twitter make managing conversations and connecting with your community much easier.

Don’t overlook social media monitoring and engagement platforms.  They’ll help you find mentions across the social web, and help you connect with people discussing your brand. Step outside your comfort zone and expand your horizons.  Not everyone you connect with has to be like-minded.  Diversity breeds inspiration!

Reach out to people you haven’t connected with yet, rather than just communicating with the same select few.  Invite new followers/friends to reach out to you regularly and make it easy for them by sharing the best ways they can connect with you.  Do the same for those whom you haven’t had chance to communicate with for some time.  When you do, you’ll make your new followers feel as welcome and valued as the old.

Successful Brands: Key Takeaways

Gone are the days where your brand simply broadcasts messages.  Social Media is all about open communication between your brand and your community of fans, followers, prospects and customers.  Follow back, interact and engage with as many people as you feel you can handle, treating everyone as equals.  Treat the new name reaching out to you as kindly as you would the well-known influencer.  Help connect people to together by making introductions.  Make everyone you connect with feel valued.

Do you think businesses should follow everyone back and interact on social networks?  What tips do you have for engaging with people across social networks?  Do have certain guidelines you stick to for following people back?  Is there anything that’s holding you back from connecting?

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Comments

  1. says

    Yes, I believe that brands should at least interact if not follow back their fans. I know of a couple of big brands that have never done either, and that really changes my opinion of them.

    For me that hardest part is time but I really do try. Stopping by from the SITS sharefest!
    Raquel @ Organized Island recently posted…Timesaving Travel AppsMy Profile

  2. says

    Great tips..I tweeted a gentle hint to a retailer yesterday after a negative experience. They didn’t answer – but one of their competitors did.

  3. says

    These are great suggestions. I love number 2 especially. I’ve seen a few blogs closing off their comments to direct readers to various social media platforms but I much prefer to comment on the blog. It’s easier to follow the conversations for one and sometimes 140 characters just isn’t enough…
    Thanks for sharing!
    GiselleR @ Diary of an ExSloth recently posted…Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal RecipeMy Profile

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