This is a MUST-READ! Thanks, Brian Solis, for this fabulous and relevant article you wrote and posted on October 5, 2011, in Social Media Today.
It’s time for brands to rethink their approach in social media
Everything begins with providing a reason for consumers to connect with brands in social networks, not once, but now and over time, again and again. Brands must study consumer preferences in advance of social efforts and continually monitor what consumers expect and want in this channel. Effective brand engagement is directly linked to the value customers take away from the branded social experience and how closely their expectations and desires are met.
When asked why consumers were breaking-up with brands in Facebook and Twitter, the top reasons cited were: • The company posts too frequently • My wall was becoming too crowded with marketing posts • The content was too repetitive or boring In the previous three points, we learn what not to do. When customers were asked why they unliked brands, we get a better idea for what to do next (interpreted):
• I only “Liked” the company to take advantage of an offer
• Brands didn’t offer enough special offers or deals over time to make it worth my while
• Their posts were too promotional without the ability to take action against them within the stream
It comes back to intention and value. Customers are yearning for a more useful or meaningful connection and for the most part, brands are missing the opportunity to truly engage. The ExactTarget data highlights the need for brands to move away from posting marketing or promotional content or repeatedly diluting streams with boring posts. These acts will only drive customers away from social engagement. Instead, by providing special offers and more useful, actionable or engaging updates, customers will find value in preserving the connection.
Think about your current social media strategy... are you following the same timeline, methodology, and thought process as when you first began? The ever-evolving composition of social networking sites requires that our marketing strategies and practices are also ever-evolving. Those adapt and apply will win. How does your current plan need to be adjusted to fit today's consumer?