A common misconception about social media is that it’s a platform for free marketing – but the truth is that it’s actually a conversation.

People have become used to the constant barrage of advertising – and the more there is competing for their attention, the less they’re going to take on board. When we see something advertised, we know instantly that it’s an advert and often we skip right over it.

We’ve learned to read around adverts, rarely sparing them a second thought – and when we find ourselves browsing through social media platforms, we do the same.

So how does one get the public to engage with a brand? To actively seek out the information you want them to see? It’s an age-old question which cannot be satisfied by traditional marketing, which is often too in-your-face and too abrasive for modern consumers.

Social media platforms give you a way in – a way to keep people interested and, in essence, to get them ready for your real advertising campaigns. What you want is to create an organic community around your brand, one that encourages existing consumers to have their say.

Listen to what people want, find the trends in discussion and respond to them. If you can give them what they want, by all means do! They will love you for it. If you can’t, use social media to explain why it can’t be done. Gain the trust of your consumers and allow them to feel like they have a say in your product.

As with any community, yours will become self-regulating. People will jump to the defence of the brand that takes the time to hear them. And here’s the clincher: you have access to their friends.

When it comes to social media, everybody is a friend of everybody else. Your social media community will extend your marketing reach massively – just through these individual networks. Now that you have yourself a community, send them emails with your promotions, get them to subscribe to a company newsletter and let your selling happen there – keeping it separate from your social media platforms.

Your hard marketing strategies will be the part of your business that eventually makes the sale, but your social media presence will prove a valuable guide to achieving that end result. For more information on how to create an effective social media strategy, contact us at WSI today.

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