Welcome to 2018. 

Last summer I joined the eWomen Podcast Network to host my show called Love Brand You – The show about personal branding.  How your values, beliefs and actions help you define and discover your calling and the evolution of you and your brand.

My goal for this year is to support the weekly show with a blog.   FYI – You can conveniently listen in by clicking on the show link on the home page.

For Episode 18:  Embrace Social Media to Build Your Brand, I share about the impact of social media on branding, and how you can actively work toward achieving your personal brand which is in essence, what you want to be known and how social media can help you do that.

Let’s start with the impact of social media:

Just 2 years ago in November of 2015 , Ryan Holmes  the CEO of Hootsuite, wrote an article titled:

Why Businesses Can’t Survive Without Social Media

Here’s how it started: “Today, it’s hard to imagine business without the Internet.  Rewind a few years, however, and it’s amazing how many digital skeptics were still around. Case in point: In 1995, Newsweek published the now infamous article titled The Internet? Bah! insisting the web was just a fad.” 

Think about that….  in 1995 Newsweek one of the most reputable sources of news says the internet is just a fad.

Ryan Holmes goes on in the next paragraph… “Right now, we’re undergoing a business transformation just as momentous as the advent of the Internet. Its promise is almost as limitless and yet there are still holdouts who insist it’s “just a fad.”

I’m talking, of course, about social media. Social media is the next wave of the digital transformation that started with the web. And its bottom-line impact is proving just as huge. For businesses today, the best way to keep your company successful, in my estimation, is to fully embrace social media. Not incorporating Twitter, Facebook, and other social channels into your strategy in 2015 is roughly the equivalent of insisting the web was just a fad a decade or so ago: backward-looking, blinkered, and above all, a serious business liability.”  (Read full article here):  http://fortune.com/2015/11/18/businesses-cant-survive-social-media/

Flash forward to January 2018…I am living proof that social media is one if not the top way to keep you successful.  I was an early adopter on much of the social media channels, but truthfully, I didn’t get serious about building my platforms and networks until late 2013 and by 2015 it had made a serious positive impact in my own business, so much so that that is why I actively promote and train people how to Build Your Brand Foundation – The bedrock of “Love Brand You”  incorporating your personal brand, your business name if you need or want and how to integrate your social media platforms to build a strong brand foundation.    Make no mistake; social media is not a fad.   I want to share with you some statistics about Customer Interaction and Customer Care on Social Media to drive home the point of why social media has to be a top focus of your marketing strategy in 2018, first I can resist sharing a portion of this article with you:

WHY THE WEB WON'T BE NIRVANA   

By Clifford Stoll on Feb. 26, 1995

“After two decades online, I'm perplexed. It's not that I haven't had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I've met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I'm uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic.

Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth in no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.

Consider today's online world. The Usenet, a worldwide bulletin board, allows anyone to post messages across the nation. Your word gets out, leapfrogging editors and publishers. Every voice can be heard cheaply and instantly. The result? Every voice is heard. The cacophony more closely resembles citizens band radio, complete with handles, harassment, and anonymous threats. When most everyone shouts, few listen. How about electronic publishing? Try reading a book on disc. At best, it's an unpleasant chore: the myopic glow of a clunky computer replaces the friendly pages of a book. And you can't tote that laptop to the beach. Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we'll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Internet. Uh, sure.”    (Read full article here):  http://www.newsweek.com/clifford-stoll-why-web-wont-be-nirvana-185306

I want you to let that sink in.  Barely 23 years ago, this is what the experts said about the web.  The article goes on to talk about how there’s no way to safely send money or sell online, how computers are not a good way to teach kids, and how computers and chat rooms isolate us from one another…   and more.   According to Newsweek, the visionaries were wrong about the web.   It was just a fad.   

We all know now how spot on the visionaries were, and the same can be said for social media.

Here are some statistics to ponder on:

  • 7 of 10 people are on Social Media
  • From 2005 – 2016   5% to 69%
  • FB Messenger has been downloaded 1.2 Billion Times
  • 90% of users communicate with a brand via Social Media
  • 63% of customers expect service via Social Media
  • People prefer Social Media for Customer Service

    • 34.5%  Social Media
    • 27.4%   Website or live chat
    • 19.4%   Email
    • 16.1%   Phone / Toll Free Number

Customers who receive a response through social media spend 20 – 40 % more.

Here’s just one example for me personally:

            A local carpet cleaning company followed me on Instagram.

I followed them back and received a message promoting their “one room special cleaning rate”  It so happened that I had spilled a cup of coffee on my carpet the week before so this prompted me to find out more.  I sent a message back and said “please contact me about this special via this message or here is my phone number to call me directly”.   Nothing.  Crickets.  No response.  Ever.  That was six months ago and I have not had a response.  This company who had sent out the message, had no one checking or responding.  They lost out from me, and likely countless others.

Another staggering statistic, 70% of complaints go unanswered on Twitter.  Back to the infographic stats: 

  • Answering a social media complaint increases customer advocacy by as much as 25%
  • 75% of people share good experiences with a brand on social media
  • People are likely to recommend a brand 30% more when they receive a response
  • 65% of people have more brand loyalty if a brand reaches out to them on social
  • 30% of people will go to a competitor if a brand doesn’t respond

It pays to respond to your messages quickly:

  • 42% expect a response within an hour
  • 32% expect a response within 30 minutes
  • 11% of consumers expect a response to be immediate

You may think that sounds absurd, but think about what it adds to your ROI.   Good social customer care pushes consumers to spend 20 – 40% more and your brand loyalty increases by 65%. 

Back to my carpet cleaner example:  If they would have replied to my message they would have been cleaning my carpet.  I was ready to pay for their service of the one room cleaning special they offered and likely could have upsold me when they showed up.

Social media is not just a sales channel.  There is much more to building your community and having your followers know, like and trust you before you can “sell to them”.  Promotional messages are fine, but they should be a small percentage compared to information, engagement and entertainment for your ideal client.

Brands send 23 promotional messages for every 1 response given to their audience.   If you say you’re on social media and all you’ve done is hire a social media company to automate messages for you, you have missed this golden opportunity to engage with your customers and community.

You have to be authentic.

Social Media Today.com makes these important points.

            How to Be Authentic On Social Media

  1. Know who you are
  2. Create the conversation with your followers
  3. Don’t be afraid to take a stand
  4. Show off your personality
  5. Respond, Respond, Respond

Acknowledge or respond to every comment or mention.  I’ve gained friends, colleagues, jobs, speaking gigs, coaching clients, guests for my podcast show, strategic alliances and more through being present and responding.  I’ve helped many people do the same.

When I’m working with people to develop their brand, there is a process to building the foundation.  Social media is a marathon, not a sprint.  It takes time to build your online presence but I can assure you it is worth it. 

The key to remember is just like any great company your own brand is evolving and changing.   By being on social media you can learn what your customers and clients want from you and that can help you interact, nurture and serve them.

One of my most recent clients remarked she had interacted with me for a long period of time online and when we finally talked she hired me on the spot because “she felt like she knew me because I was the same online and in person”.   Be you on and offline.  Create a conversation with your customers, respond and see what happens over time.

Social media is not a fad.  I encourage you to make it a top goal for 2018.   If you are not sure where to start or you’d like to know more about my Social Media Brand Foundation connect with me here https://calendly.com/samrafoss

 

Resources:

http://fortune.com/2015/11/18/businesses-cant-survive-social-media/

http://www.newsweek.com/clifford-stoll-why-web-wont-be-nirvana-185306

https://www.social4retail.com/the-rise-of-social-media-customer-care-infographic.html

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/292850

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/brands-ignoring-consumers-on-social-media-are-in-trouble-infographic/512213/

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/a-guide-to-social-media-customer-care-infographic/502166/

 

 

 

Why You Need Social Media To Build Your Brand
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