I often sit and think what a life without social media would be like and that maybe I would go on a social detox. I instantly break in to a cold sweat and find myself saying one little tweet won’t hurt… Well several Tweets, Facebook posts, a hand full of Pins, +1’s and an empty wallet later… I find myself once again contemplating what I would do without these kind of fixes? My name is Naomi and I’m a social addict…. as are most of your customers!

As a Social Marketer I constantly review how businesses present themselves on a platform which is rife with competition and I’m always ‘unsurprised’ at how many people are getting this wrong. Business and agencies alike are missing the bigger picture! The customer!  Deep linking to products, competition mechanics, incentives, exclusive deals it’s all great and proven stuff  but I guarantee your competitor is right there applying the same tactics! Take a step back! Are your social efforts falling on deaf ears? If the answer is yes well that seems like a lot of wasted time and resources to me!  It’s my opinion that adding a little idealism to you social strategy can make a whole load of difference to the business that you do online.

When it comes to ‘Social Business’ or ‘Social Marketing’ I’m a  bit of an idealist. What does this mean?  In a sociological sense, idealism accentuates how human ideas especially beliefs and values shape society. In a social media sense it means I like to share my values and beliefs with my clients. I apply them to the campaigns I manage so that businesses and customers get the most out of what social media has to offer!  I’m all about keeping it real! I believe that in social business it is important to sell yourself before product, this means building networks, sharing valued information and having/creating the opportunity to connect with wide and varied range of people in a human way.

Social Business and Social Commerce are brilliant and proven ways to market! But simply applying these techniques raw is not going to help you get cash in the bank. Your customers aren’t silly they know that most brands primary goal is to sell, they expect this! They will buy from you to for fill a need which is great until you add competitors in to the mix. You need to add worth, so what I’m suggesting is give a little to get a little! Go that extra step further than just for filling a need. Add some steps in to your social strategy that focuses on building your brand, creating customer trust and awareness, achieving a proactive following and ultimately adding that worth to a platform that is already filled with information.  This will put you on the right tracks to standing out from your competitors and customers will always buy from brands they know, like and trust!

It’s fair to say Social Media is a integral part of my day and I use it as most other users do. I communicate with friends, share news and information, I use it to learn and develop and it satisfies my nosy needs. But what I really love is the power and potential it has for business.  How I can connect with the brands I know and like and statistics show that I am certainly not alone. Here are some interesting social stats that I have come across which demonstrate the importance of social business to consumers.

93% of social media user believe a company should have a presence in social media

This means if you’re not doing it you ought to be!

85% of social media users believe that a company should go further than just having a presents on social sites it should also interact with it’s customers.

Building that brand and creating customer loyalty and relations.

36% of people have posted about a brand on social networking sites.

This means that people don’t just talk about what they are doing at the weekend and what they’ve had for lunch!  Loads of people are talking about brands,  products, services and customer service.  Are your costumers talking about your brand and  are you listening and you responding?

42% of social media users have actually had a conversation with a brand via social networks.

You’ve potentially just connected to new customers or your now building loyalties with existing ones!

And the icing on the cake………

75% of users are more likely to perchance from a brand they follow
67% of users are likely to recommend a brand they follow
and 78% of customers trust recommendations from peers

So throw caution to the wind, add a pinch of idealism to your strategy and monitor it’s affects on your social growth and sales.  Keep it real –  Show some personality and sincerity.

Have opinions
It’s ok to have opinions and it’s good to share them. Controversy can create great conversation but remember to tread carefully no one want to overstep the mark to rudeness

Mix it up
Talk about a variation of topics. It’s ok to go off topic every once in a while.

This means not just responding to people it means creating conversations as well and reaching out to people.

Make a joke
We’re all human after all!

And remember a little bit of self before sales won’t hurt your ROI……

Justin Taylor

Justin's path into design and marketing has been anything but conventional. A random selection of career decisions saw him designing rave flyers, t-shirts and (although refusing to divulge his stage name) he allegedly did a summer stint in Gt Yarmouth as a magician before finally settling on a career in marketing.