According to the Pew Research Center, 74% of Americans interact with their friends and brands on social networks. This statistic is at 89% for the 18-29 age group. Some of the most popular social networks are Facebook (1.4 billion users), LinkedIn (360 million users), Twitter (300 million users), Instagram (200 million users), and Pinterest (72 million users). Businesses can be certain that a large percentage of their current and potential customers are active on at least one social network.
Individuals use social networks to connect with friends and family, rant and rave about their experiences, follow brands and celebrities, learn about current events, and relax. A smaller group of people also use social networks to buy and sell products, such as Younique, Beach Body, and Shakeology.
While search engine users are in a problem/solution mode, social network users are in a leisure mode. Social network users predominantly look for content that is aspirational and inspirational rather than solutions for a specific problem. They also respond well to dynamic or retargeted ad content because it serves as a reminder of something they recently viewed or considered purchasing.
Any business that does not have an active social media presence is grossly missing out on connecting with current customers and acquiring new customers. The good news is that it is still not too late to start, even if it just one post per week. Something is way better than nothing in this case.
Here are some housekeeping rules for engaging with customers on social networks:
- Be authentic and post relevant content to your industry
- Engage with your followers and do not ignore anyone
- Promptly respond to positive and negative comments/posts
- Do not lose your patience and give up
- Respect everyone’s opinion and do not permit abusive/inappropriate content
The best approach to effective social media engagement is to develop a an internal social media blueprint that clearly communities your company’s goals and procedures.